Business Permitted Development
Development at business premises often requires planning permission, however, depending on the nature of your business and the premises or land you own / occupy, you can undertake certain type of development without needing to apply for planning permission. Such development is often referred to as " Permitted Development".
Development is permitted with specific limitations and will vary depending on the location of your property, and whether your premises or land benefits from these rights in the first place. The premises may not benefit from permitted development for a variety of reasons, including the Permitted Development Rights (external link) have been withdrawn by a condition of a previous permission.
Please note: irrespective of whether planning permission is required, approval under Building Regulations may be required, as they are two separate matters.
There are multiple forms of Permitted Development Rights afforded to different types of businesses. These are summarised as follows, and you can use the respective links to obtain further information:
- Industrial buildings and warehouses
- Shops, cafes and public houses
- Schools, universities and hospitals
Permitted Development Rights are set out in the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (external link), which has been amended:
2016 - as set out in the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) (amendment) Order 2016.
2016 - as set out in the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) (amendment) (No.2) Order 2016.
2017 - as set out in the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) (amendment) Order 2017.
2017 - as set out in the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) (amendment) (No.2) Order 2017.
The change of use of property or land
In many cases, a change of use of a building or land will require planning permission, unless both the present and proposed uses fall within the same 'Class' as defined in the Use Classes Order, or there is a permitted change allowed.
Working from home
You do not necessarily need planning permission to work from home. The key test is whether the overall character of the dwelling will change as a result of the business. If the answer to any of the following questions is "yes", then permission will probably be needed:
- Will your home no longer be used mainly as a private residence?
- Will your business result in a marked rise in traffic or people calling?
- Will your business involve any activities unusual in a residential area?
- Will your business disturb your neighbours at unreasonable hours or create other forms of nuisance such as noise or smells?
- Will you need to extend your house specifically to accommodate the new business?
- Will you employ other people to work at your home?
Whatever business you wish to carry out from your home, whether it involves using part of the dwelling or using buildings in the garden, the key test is whether there is a material change of use involved. To avoid any doubt on this type of issue, you may wish to contact the Development Control team with details of your proposal.
Still not sure?
The above guidance is not an authoritative interpretation of the law. Due to the many permutations which may be involved in considering whether a proposal requires a planning application, it is recommended that initial informal advice be sought from the Planning Control team before starting work. A planning application will usually be required if:
- Permitted Development Rights have been withdrawn at your property by a condition imposed on a previous planning permission or by an Article 4 Direction. This often also precludes permitted changes of use between Classes of the Use Classes Order.
- If your premises is a Listed Building or contains Listed structures within its curtilage, then Listed Building Consent may also be required.
- A proposed use constitutes a 'material change of use' (i.e. where it is not or may no longer be ancillary to primary use). This is always a matter of fact and degree, and advice should always be sought on this point.
The Development Control service has a free Pre-Application Enquiry Service.
If you are still unsure as to whether to you require a planning application, we advise you to complete the Council's General Enquiry form. If a planning application is required, you can make your application online.
If you cannot find the information you are looking for, or wish to clarify detail, please contact the Development Control team.
Last updated Monday, 24th May 2021