For anyone who is successful in scaling a dental practice, there will hopefully come a time when physical expansion is necessary. There may be an option to re-design the current surgery in order to make this happen, or it may be necessary to acquire additional property, in order for expansion to take place.
Optimising the use of current space
The first question to ask when looking for room to expand is, “How effective is the current use of space?” For instance, staff break rooms do not need to be large, luxurious spaces. They simply need to be a place to take a reasonably comfortable break before returning to work. It may be possible to use some of this space as a treatment area.
Unused hallways and storage areas can also be utilised. Taking the time to consider the current usage of the entire surgery space, and coming up with new design options, can save on the cost of having to acquire additional premises, in some circumstances.
Dealing with the landlord
This will only be an issue if the leasehold of the property is not owned by the dental practice. If this is the case, it’s important to discuss any refurbishment or re-design ideas with the landlord, before any work commences. Failure to do so could lead to legal complications further down the line.
Depending on how good or bad the relationship with the landlord is there could be an argument for involving a dental solicitor in the discussions, or at least seeking their advice and support.
The issue of planning permission
If the purpose of the premises is to remain the same, it’s unlikely that planning permission will be needed. However, there may be times when there will be a need to acquire planning permission when extending a dental practice. For instance, part of the property which is currently being used as a residence may be converted for business use, or neighbouring residential property may be purchased for conversion.
Any property that is going to be used as part of a dental practice should have D1 planning consent. If the correct consent is not in place, it’s possible that enforcement penalties could be imposed. It’s always best to check if D1 planning consent is needed, before going ahead and making any changes. The government provides advice on this subject.
Further information on Dental Practice Growth
For more on growing a dental practice, check out our other Learning Center articles here.
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