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Working from home might require Planning Permission!

16th December 2021

With more of us being encouraged to work from home as a result of the pandemic Roger Parry & Partners are encouraging those looking to move their business to their home address to seek advice as to whether planning permission is required.

A recent case (Sage v Secretary of State for Housing, Local Government and Communities [2021] EWHC 2885 (Admin) has highlighted how Covid19 has changed everyone’s work habits and what was considered normal or reasonably incidental with planning permission for working from home has altered.

The case concerned a personal trainer who used part of his outbuilding as a gym. He resided in a two-storey semi-detached dwelling and the houses were described as being in a “tight knit design”. There were (at least) four to five clients a day on weekdays and further clients on the weekend. The Judge concluded the Planning Inspector rationally found that the level of use had gone beyond that which is incidental to a dwelling house.

Richard Corbett, Partner with Roger Parry & Partners said, “Applying for Planning Permission would not necessarily be something you would think of when you make the decision to work from home. However, this recent case proves it must be a consideration for all businesses moving forward. Our team of planning experts keep abreast with alterations to the planning system like this one and are on hand to give advice.”   

Section 55 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 sets out when planning permission is required. Permission is required for a “material change of use” (section 55(1)); however, even if there is such a material change of use, any use which is “incidental to the use of the dwelling house as such” does not require planning permission (section 55(2)(d)).

The planning arena is a highly regulated and technically demanding area but one that can provide the opportunity for significant capital enhancement when tackled correctly. Roger Parry & Partners’ planning team are dedicated to keeping abreast of all the complex rules and technical requirements relating to planning policy and associated regulation. The team know the planning and development sector, its organisation, methods and standards and their planning professionals will advise and navigate clients through the rules and regulations connected with planning and building and monitor construction through to completion. Visit: for further information.

Richard added, “The planning system is a complex one. That’s why we are on hand to give help and guidance to avoid paying penalties further down the line. Please get in touch with our team of experts.”