Working from home: planning enforcement avoided with successful retrospective application

working from home

The new year got off to a good start for one of our client’s, as we were able to help them avoid potential enforcement action and provide long-term security for their business through a retrospective change of use application.

Making the best planning case for an at home business – the benefits of professional representation

In this instance, our client worked from home as an osteopath and ran a successful clinic providing treatment to a local client base. In terms of scale, only one room in the house was used for the osteopathic clinic, and our client was the sole employee.

Although the business was small, established and providing a niche service, a complaint about the number of clients attending the clinic resulted in a visit from an Enforcement Officer, who advised that a planning application was unlikely to succeed. Concerned for the future of their business, our client sought professional help and gave our planning consultants a call.

Following a thorough review of the planning position, we demonstrated that a retrospective change of use for part of the house to be used as a clinic should be supported and could be controlled via planning condition. We evidenced how the business met the requirements of relevant planning policies and worked with the client to produce a detailed Planning Statement that clearly defined their business operations within the dwelling and successfully demonstrated how there was no material impact upon nearby amenity.

This case emphasises the benefits of professional representation. Had the planning judgement of the Enforcement Officer been accepted then the business would have had to close or relocate. However, through effective engagement, provision of clarity on the planning position and clear presentation of the facts, we have secured the long-term future of the clinic and have enabled our client to continue working from home.

Do I need planning permission to work from home?

As property prices and overheads continue to increase, self-employed businesses are exploring their planning position in terms of working from home. In many instances planning permission is not required, but subject to a number of factors including the nature of the business, your local council may get in touch to request that planning permission is sought.

Common planning issues that can trigger a need for a planning application or a lawful development certificate to work from home include; client numbers, opening hours, the scale of the business operations, impact on neighbouring amenity, parking provision and noise.

About us

Plainview Planning have been providing informed, considered and dynamic planning support to our clients for over 10 years. If you have found your working from home enterprise subject to an enforcement investigation, contact our planning team via to see how we can best help and to receive a no obligation quote for our services. We value your privacy and any information which you provide will not be shared outside of our company.

IMAGE SOURCE: Unsplash (2019)