Advice is available on the following alterations to premises:

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 required:

  • 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?

Change of use

Click here for further details on changing the use of your premises.

Extending business premises

Minor extensions, including the erection of additional buildings within the curtilage, may not need planning permission. The guidance below indicates when planning permission will generally be required.

Factory or warehouse extensions

Planning permission will not normally be required if your extension is:

  • less than 1000 square metres of floor space
  • less than 25 per cent of the volume of the original building
  • below the height of the original building

The extension must be related to the current use of the building or the provision of staff facilities. Planning permission will be required if the extension:

  • materially affects the external appearance of the building
  • comes within five metres of the boundary of the site
  • reduces the amount of space available for parking or turning of vehicles

Volume is calculated from external measurements. "Original" means as first built, or as the building stood on 1 July 1948, if built before then.

Office extensions

Planning permission will not normally be required if your extension is:

  • less than 50 square metres of floor space or less than 25 per cent of the gross floor space of the original building (whichever is lesser)
  • below the height of the building being extended or, if within 10 metres of a boundary, five metres high
  • if within a Conservation Area, extensions must be constructed using materials which have a similar external appearance to those used for the building being extended

The extension must be related to the current use of the building. Planning permission will be required if the extension:

  • comes within five metres of the boundary of the site
  • would be within a Listed Building

Alterations to office buildings can also be permitted outside Conservation Areas, subject to the same restrictions above, but can only be at ground floor level. 

"Original" means as first built, or as the building stood on 1 July 1948, if built before then. Where two or more original buildings are within the same curtilage and are used for the same undertaking, they are treated as a single original building in making any measurement. Office building means any building within Use Class B1(a).

Building new premises

The construction of new premises nearly always needs planning permission. The Local Plan will guide you as to which areas are appropriate for new business premises. 

Advertisements and shopfronts

For further information concerning the need for advertisement consent please consult the DCLG's Guide to Advertisements and Signs.  Further guidance is also available on designing your shopfront.

Agriculture

For further information concerning agricultural developments please consult the DCLG's Farmer's Guide to Planning