Many small businesses are started by people working in their homes and this does not always require planning permission. Planning permission is not required if the use of part of your home for business purposes does not change the overall character of the property as a single dwelling. For example, the use of a room as an office for one of the residents of the house, or childminding in line with the Government's standard recommended ratios**, would be unlikely to mean that the character of the dwelling-house had changed and would not normally require planning permission.
If the business involves the following:
more people visiting the property during the day/evening than would normally be the case for residential use;
uses that require employees to be present at the dwelling;
uses that require business vehicles to be kept at the site;
deliveries taking place that are more frequent and involve larger quantities of goods than is usual for a household;
the use of a large part of your home for business activities, such as offices, storage, and other commercial purposes (including the use of sheds and garages);
activities that are noisier than domestic use or produce fumes that would not be expected from residential properties;
then planning permission is likely to be required.
If you are considering working from home you are strongly advised to contact the Development Management team to get further advice before embarking on your enterprise. We offer a Pre-application Advice Service for you to seek our written advice before making a planning application. This can help you overcome potential difficulties and make sure your application deals with all the important planning considerations. This is a written advice service and it is not available from the Planning Advice Officer.
** for further information concerning these ratios please contact the Ofsted help line on 0845 601771.