Last edited 17 Nov 2019



Approved document B, Fire Safety, Volume 2, Buildings other than dwellinghouses (2019 edition), defines the purpose group 'shop and commercial' as:

Shops or premises used for either of the following:

  • A retail trade or business (including selling food or drink to the public for immediate consumption, retail by auction, self-selection and over-the-counter wholesale trading, the business of lending books or periodicals for gain, the business of a barber or hairdresser, and the rental of storage space to the public).
  • Premises to which the public are invited either:
  1. to deliver or collect goods in connection with their hire, repair or other treatment
  2. (except in the case of repair of motor vehicles) where the public themselves may carry out such repairs or other treatments.

The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order, categorises uses of land and buildings in relation to the planning system.

Use class A1 ‘Shops’ is defined as:

Shops, retail warehouses, hairdressers, undertakers, travel and ticket agencies, post offices, pet shops, sandwich bars, showrooms, domestic hire shops, dry cleaners, funeral directors and internet cafes.

There is no equivalent 'commercial' use class.

See also: Commercial premises definition.

NB In the construction industry, the term 'shop' might also be used to refer to workshops where products and components are manufactured, hence 'shop drawings'.

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