Retail Property - Retailers face double trouble over mezzanines

Government legislation over mezzanine floors could mean a double whammy for retailers.

The amendment to the Planning Bill - which requires retailers to apply for planning permission for any work that increases floorspace by more than 10 per cent - has caused horror among out-of-town retailers that are desperate for new space.

From October 1, the Disability Discrimination Act means that retailers must ensure that their premises, including mezzanine floors, can be accessed by disabled shoppers. This may require lifts to be installed, which also need planning consent.

'As well as creating uncertainty, this means that our occupancy costs will go up as well,' said Sports World property director Graham Seaton.