Operating a business from home may constitute a change of use requiring planning permission, depending on the nature of the business. Someone using a small part of their home to do office work which does not involve callers coming to the house would not require planning permission, but somebody carrying out noisy car repairs in the front garden would. A good rule-of-thumb to assess whether a business requires planning permission is to consider whether if somebody stood outside the house for several days, would they notice activities which would not normally be expected to take place at a dwelling. Factors to be considered are:
- The proportion of the property used for business purposes and whether parts of the home are exclusively used for business purposes
- Whether people call at the home in connection with the business
- Whether anyone not living in the property works in the business. If somebody not living in the home works there, then the business would almost certainly require planning permission
- Whether items are regularly delivered to or collected from the property
- Whether noise is generated by the activities.
- Whether there is advertising on the site
If you propose to run a business from your home and are not sure if planning permission would be required, seek advice from your Planning Department.