Planning and Building Control

If you are planning to start a new business or move to a new site, then you may need to seek planning permission. The uses to which a particular site may be put (e.g. retail, storage and distribution, offices, industrial, etc) are defined by the allowable use classes. Before you negotiate a lease or buy a property for your business, check whether you need to obtain planning permission for your intended use, and, if so, your chances of getting it.

A person proposing to alter, extend, build or change the use of premises must apply for planning permission for development from the local authority by filling in the Standard Planning Application Form (1APP) and meeting all of the Planning Application Requirements (PAR). Planning permission will also be required for the erection of adverts, signs, banners & hoardings

More recently DCLG has produced a section of the Planning Portal for Small Businesses. The glossary of terms used in planning may also be useful.

Planning permission and building regulations (Business Link guide)

Under new regulations that came into force on 6 April 2010, you may be able to build, extend or alter your premises without the need for planning permission, provided certain limits and conditions are met. This is known as 'permitted development rights'.

This guide sets out the circumstances in which you're likely to require planning permission, and what development you can carry out without it. It also explains how to apply for planning permission and make the process as smooth as possible.

Most building work must also comply with building regulations. This guide also explains how to comply with building regulations.

Subjects covered in this guide (follow links)

Starting a business from home

The DirectGov web site gives general guidance about when you need to apply for planning permission. More detailed advice is available from Business Link

In the majority of cases you will not need planning permission to start a business from home. If you make part time use of a spare room as an office then this is not likely to need permission. However if your business will mean frequent visitors to your house, require extra parking places, disturb your neighbours at unreasonable hours or create other forms of nuisance then you will probably need to seek permission. If in doubt you can seek informal advice without the need to submit an application.

Building Regulations and Building Control

Construction of any new building will be subject to Building Regulations (explanatory booklet) and will be inspected by the Building Control team at the Borough Council to check that it conforms to current standards.