Will the permitted development changes that come into force on May the 30th affect people who work at home either in their house or in a garden office?
Running your business from an office in the garden
If you are planning to move into the garden and run your business from a shed or garden office the permitted development changes won’t affect you. You will still need planning permission for the building even if it less than 2.5m tall, because you are using it for business purposes.
If you are using your shed or garden building as a leisure studio, gym or store and it is less than 2.5m tall, you don’t need planning permission because these uses are incidental. There are more details about garden office planning permission here.
Running your business from a house extension
If you were thinking of moving out of your shed and back into the house you may benefit from the permitted development changes. You can currently build an office extension on the back of the house without planning permission as long as it is single storey (no more than 4m high over all and no more than 3m high within 2m of the boundary with your neighbour’s property) and no more than 3m long on a semi and 4m long on a detached house.
However for a period of three years, the permitted development changes that start on May 30th 2013, will allow you to build an extension on the back of your house of 6m or 8m respectively without planning permission as long as the planning department agrees and the neighbours have been formally consulted.
You will have to write to the council and tell them what you intend to do. The council will consult with your neighbours, but the final decision is with the council. If your proposal is sensible but your neighbours are negative the council will have the final say and may well over ride the neighbours objections if they think the neighbours won’t be affected by your extension.
NB this process will take six weeks, and planning permission only takes eight, so would the formal route be better?
Permitted development changes – the stable in the orchard
If you work at home in a rural area and have always fancied started a business in that disused stable in the orchard, or the unused barn in the corner of the field, now is your chance.
Under existing planning law you would be highly unlikely to get planning permission to have an office in an orchard or on any other agricultural land. But, for the next two years, temporary permitted development changes mean that you can go and work in that building without the need for planning permission. On the down side, after two years you will have to move out again.
For agricultural buildings of up to 150m2 you are required to notify the Council of the date the new use will begin with a description of the changes and a plan indicating the site and the buildings which the changes will apply to. For larger agricultural buildings the council will require more information about highways, noise, flood risk and contamination.
It will be interesting to see how and if local authorities find the time and manpower to eject businesses from these premises after two years.
Check before you act
For more information on your permitted development rights click here. And, always contact your local planning department before making an alteration to your property, don’t just rely on information you find on the internet!