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Planning regulations for businesses

The use of buildings, the display of advertisements, and the appearance of and extensions to buildings, especially those which are listed buildings or lie within a conservation area, are all covered by planning regulations.

Operating a business or working from home

Operating a business from home does not always require planning permission provided that there is no change to overall character of the dwelling and it remains primarily in residential use.

Uses that affect the character of a residential area, for example activities that generate a significant volume of deliveries or visitors, creates noise, vibration, dust or smells or involves storage of large volumes of materials, vehicles or machinery are likely to require permission. The construction of extensions and outbuildings could also require planning permission.

Please contact us to discuss your plans if you are in any doubt.

Signs and advertisements

Changes of use

Planning legislation groups land and buildings into a number of use classes. Certain changes of use are permitted, for example changing use from a restaurant to a shop, without requiring planning permission. Any change of use class that is not permitted would require a planning permission.

Extending or altering business premises

Factories and warehouses have some limited permitted development rights which allow for extensions to be built without requiring planning permission in certain circumstances.

Other business premises, including shops will usually require planning permission for any changes to the appearance of the building, for example new shop fronts.

Professional advice for businesses

Larger businesses are likely to require specialist professional advice when considering a proposal for new premises or major alterations to an existing site. Engaging an appropriate professional to advise you may save you time and money in the long run.

We cannot recommend specific consultants, but below are some links to professional bodies who may be able to assist you.

Last updated: 14 February 2019

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