Find out if you need planning permission
Planning permission for business premises
Do I need planning permission to run my small business from my home?
You do not usually need planning permission if only part of your home is used for business purposes. The test that we use to decide if you need planning permission is whether the overall character of your home would change as a result of the business.
You might need to apply for planning permission to work from home if:
- your home is no longer used mainly as your private residence
- your business leads to a noticeable increase in traffic or people calling at your property
- your business involves any activities that are unusual in a residential area
- your business disturbs your neighbours at unreasonable hours or causes other nuisances such as noise or smells
The Planning Portal offers guidance on whether you need to apply for planning permission before starting a business from your home.
If you are still unsure, you can apply for pre-application advice to discuss your plans with us. If you have read the information above and are confident that you do not need planning permission to start a business from your home, you can apply for a Lawful Development Certificate to confirm this.
Making changes to a business premises
You usually need planning permission to make a change to your business premises, including:
- extentions to a shop or office
- alterations to shop fronts
- installing external security shutters or grilles
- changes in the use of the land or buildings
The Use Class Order (external website) was updated on 1 September 2020. Read the Planning Portal's guide on use classes (external website) for more information.
Below is our summary of the changes that came into force on 1 September 2020.
|Use Class||What is included||New use class from 1 September 2020|
A1 - Shops
A2 - Financial and Professional services
A3 - Restaurants and Cafes
A4 - Drinking Establishments
A5 - Hot Food Takeaways
|Use class E|
B1 - Business
|Use class E|
B2 - General Industrial
B8 - Storage or Distribution
C1 - Hotels
C2 - Residential Institutions
C3 - Dwellinghouses
C4 - Houses in Multiple Occupation
D1 - Non-residential Institutions
D2 - Assembly and Leisure
|Use classes E and F|
'Sui generis' is a Latin term that, in this context, means ‘in a class of its own’.
Certain uses are specifically defined and excluded from classification by legislation.
Page last updated: 02 February 2023