Shop front alterations

You should seek planning permission before you make any changes to the form or style of a shop front. 

We are required to safeguard the conservation area and ensure that new and replacement shop fronts are designed to contribute to the visual enhancement and attractiveness of the street scene.

What do we take into consideration

  • Within historic streets, corporate colour schemes, corporate styles and logos will often have obtrusive and overbearing results.
  • We discourage the removal of traditionally detailed window frames and others of architectural quality.
  • On traditional shop fronts, door design typically reflects that of the shop front.  Generally on traditional shop fronts, the door is part-glazed with a lower kick plate of a height around that of the stall riser or window sill.  Recessed doorways are a characteristic feature of Victorian and Edwardian buildings which provide a visual break in the shop front and increase the area of display space. Within the recess, floors are often decoratively tiled.
  • The designer must ensure historical accuracy on each shop front, whilst also ensuring that the result harmonises with its surroundings.
  • Shop fronts are part of the building as a whole and the street's attractiveness. Colours should complement the building and harmonise with adjacent shop fronts. Traditional materials are most appropriate.
  • The largest proportion of the shop front is the window area and the detailing is crucial to appearance. Extensive areas of glass are not appropriate on Listed Buildings or within the Conservation Area.


If you are applying for a new shop front you will need to indicate the provisions in place for access to all members of the public, including for wheelchair users, those with pushchairs and those with visual impairments. 

Some individuals can have difficulties negotiating steps and opening doors.  This should be given very careful consideration at the design stage and there may be a necessity to try to provide entrance ramps and/or handrails.

Last updated 8 September 2021
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