Development Management SPD

Ended on the 5th February 2021
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6 Extensions to dwellings, garden extensions and working from home

6.1 Local Plan Policy GD8 includes criteria that development should be well planned. It should be, amongst other things, of a scale and design that would not damage the quality, character and amenity of an area. Extensions, outbuildings and garages should be subordinate to the main building.

6.2 The Harborough District is a desirable place to live. Harborough District Council needs to achieve the delivery of new development whilst protecting or enhancing the qualities that make the Harborough area so attractive. Development pressure and housing needs should never be an excuse for poor design.

6.3 The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF, 2019) stresses that "The creation of high quality buildings and places is fundamental to what the planning and the development process should achieve" (paragraph 124). "Being clear about design expectations, and how these will be tested, is essential for achieving this" (paragraph 124). "Permission should be refused for development of poor design that fails to take the opportunities available for improving the character and quality of an area and the way it functions, taking into account any local design standards or style guides in plans or supplementary planning documents" (paragraph 130).

6.4 The guidelines aim to show you the best way to provide extra accommodation and to assist you in getting the design of your extension right the first time. The principles in this guide are relevant whether you need permission for your extension or not.

6.5 As the District is diverse and varied in character, with many different types, styles and sizes of property, this guidance cannot reflect every individual situation. It does, however, indicate the most common planning and design considerations which should be taken into account by people wishing to undertake development.

6.6 As well as providing advice to applicants, this guide will also be used by the Local Planning Authority in the determination of planning applications. The guide will be used to resist poor design if necessary. This guide clearly defines what is considered to be appropriate in the 'majority of cases', leaving the opportunity and scope for innovative design. The guide should be used to assist you in making a positive change to your dwelling and (if necessary) a successful planning application. All schemes will be assessed based on their own individual merit.

Garden extensions

6.7 Guidance is provided on the main considerations that will be taken into account in determining applications for the extension of gardens onto other land. Such land is often in agricultural use and subject to countryside protection policies.

Working from home

6.8 Guidance is provided on the planning issues surrounding the carrying out of various types of business from home. The guidance provides information on whether planning permission is likely to be required for a business to be run from home.

HOW TO USE THIS GUIDE

Do I need permission?

6.9 Some smaller residential extensions and outbuildings to dwellings do not require an application for planning permission. They benefit from deemed planning permission under The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (as amended), granted by Parliament (and not by the Local Planning Authority). Such development is often referred to as 'permitted development', or taking place under 'permitted development rights'.

6.10 Even if your house extension or alteration does not need an application for planning permission, we always want to encourage good design.

6.11 Good design is important and can enhance the value and saleability of your property and this guide can help you to achieve that.

6.12 Further information on planning permission and permitted development rights can be found on the Government's Interactive Planning Portal website: www.planningportal.gov.uk

6.13 If your development does NOT come under 'permitted development' then you will need to apply for planning permission. This can be submitted online through the Planning Portal or by downloading the relevant forms from our website:

https://www.harborough.gov.uk/planning

PERMITTED DEVELOPMENT AND CERTIFICATE OF LAWFULNESS

6.14 As indicated above, under Permitted Development legislation you can undertake certain extensions and other development to your house without needing to apply for planning permission.

6.15 Permitted development rights do not relate to flats or maisonettes, except for the installation of solar panels. Commercial properties have different permitted development rights to residential dwellings.

6.16 If you wish to obtain formal confirmation that your proposal does not require an application for planning permission you can submit an application for a Lawful Development Certificate (LDC) to the Local Planning Authority:

https://www.harborough.gov.uk/info/20001/planning_applications/9/when_planning_permission_is_needed/3

TALKING TO YOUR NEIGHBOURS

6.17 Before applying for planning permission it is a good idea to speak to your neighbours or other interested parties. This can resolve any potential issues or conflicts at an early stage. It can also help to reduce the number of objections made to a planning application.

OTHER CONSENTS AND REGULATIONS

6.18 Other consents and/or specialist advice may also be required before any works are undertaken. For example and not exhaustively, this can include consent in relation to:

  • a. Listed Buildings;
  • b. Conservation Areas;
  • c. Building Regulations.

a. Listed Buildings

6.19 Any (internal or external) work that has an impact on the special interest of a listed building requires Listed Building Consent. The fact that the work may be permitted development (does not require an application for planning permission) does not negate the need to obtain Listed Building Consent.

6.20 Special care and attention is required when extending, altering or repairing a listed building. You should always ask a heritage professional for specialist advice. In addition, for further advice you can contact the Conservation Officer at Harborough District Council and we strongly advise you to discuss your proposals with the planning department at an early stage via the Council's pre-application planning service: planning@harborough.gov.uk

6.21 We will look at the proposal in terms of its impact on the building's special interest and the impact on its setting (which may include any curtilage listed outbuildings, walls and structures), which will be different in each case.

6.22 You can check if your building is listed by searching the National Heritage List for England (NHLE) here: www.historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list

b. Conservation Areas

6.23 If you live in a conservation area then a number of extra restrictions on development may apply.

6.24 Planning permission is required for the following in all conservation areas:

  • Insertion of dormers to a roof slope;
  • Installation of satellite dishes on a wall fronting a highway;
  • Any chimney, or building of more than 15 metres in height;
  • cladding of any part of the exterior of the dwellinghouse with stone, artificial stone, pebble dash, render, timber, plastic or tiles;
  • Demolition of a boundary treatment (e.g., wall) which is more than 1 metre high adjacent to a public highway.

c. Building Regulations

6.25 Most building work will also need Building Regulations approval, which relates to the building and safety aspects of development.

6.26 This is to ensure that building work meets the minimum standards contained in the Building Regulations; for example including structural safety, fire safety, drainage measures and thermal insulation requirements.

6.27 For further details please visit our Building Control webpage:

https://www.harborough.gov.uk/building-control

RESIDENTIAL EXTENSION DESIGN PRINCIPLES

6.28 The Council seeks a high standard of design to house extensions and alterations, to ensure that proposed new work is appropriate to the character and appearance of an existing property and to the streetscene and landscape around the property. Design Principles set out at 2 Design principles of this SPD should be adhered to and the following guidance.

Form

6.29 Any proposed development should be positioned so that it does not dominate the streetscene. It should complement the existing house.

6.30 New extensions should generally respect building lines and the pattern of buildings and spaces in a locality.

6.31 The loss of space between properties can create the impression of a continuous building frontage, leading to what is known as a 'terracing effect'. This can harm the character and appearance of the streetscene. Where there may be scope for a side extension to a property, generally this should not alter the character of an area by creating an impression of a continuous building frontage facing the street.

6.32 Creating and maintaining a meaningful 'gap' between properties will often help to reduce the terracing effect created by buildings being too close together. Creating a gap by setting away from boundaries, and/or by setting back and/or setting down an extension can all help to minimise the extent to which an extension results in a continuous and unbroken frontage and roofscape.

6.33 In some instances, it may not be possible to design an acceptable extension due to the sensitivity of the site, limited space, or the relationship with neighbouring houses and gardens.

Massing and Scale

6.34 The scale of an extension should be subordinate to, and/or harmonious with, the existing building. An extension should not dominate or subsume the original dwelling if this results in an undesirable visual affect, particularly at the front of a dwelling where this will have an impact on the streetscene.

6.35 An extension should not harm the amenities of neighbouring properties by being dominant or overbearing, by leading to a harmful sense of enclosure, or by causing excessive loss-of-light or loss of privacy.

6.36 Along with the positioning of walls, the roof is a key feature that defines the shape and massing of a building. Extensions should have a roof that is in keeping with the character of the existing building. Flat roofs on two storey extensions will usually be unacceptable where they are visible from the public realm (e.g., streets and public rights of way). Flat roofs are more likely to be acceptable on single storey extensions, but this depends on location and visibility – for example, a single storey flat roof extension that is publically visible on a character property in a conservation area may not be acceptable.

Proportions, Style and Materials

Proportions

6.37 Proportions should generally respect and reinforce those of the existing building in order to appear harmonious.

Architectural detailing

6.38 The architectural style and detailing found on a residential house often contributes to its individual character and appearance and, in turn, to the character and appearance of the street scene and locality. Dwellinghouse development should, where appropriate, reflect architectural detailing on the existing building. Such detailing could include, but is not limited to, decorative brick or stone plinths, dentil courses and corbelling, cills and lintels, quoins, barge boards, fascias, decorative tiling and finials.

6.39 Innovative or interesting designs of good architectural merit which address the objectives of the guidance and enhance the design and character of the building are also encouraged.

Windows and doors

6.40 When introducing new window openings (including rooflights) or doors, careful attention must be given to their sizes, proportions and styles, as well as the materials used.

6.41 In general, all windows or doors should be the same as the existing windows or doors, or complementary to them. The positioning of windows or doors within an elevation should 'line up' with existing openings – have a balanced spacing, proportional widths and aligned sill and lintel heights.

6.42 The installation of new openings should not compromise a neighbour's residential privacy by introducing high levels of overlooking. Therefore, habitable room windows, roof terraces, balconies (including Juliet balconies) that significantly compromise residential privacy will not be permitted. The use of obscure glazing to avoid overlooking may be permitted when used in non-habitable rooms but should be avoided for a primary window in a habitable room (e.g. a bedroom).

Materials and finishes

6.43 To ensure that an extension does not detract from the appearance of a house and the character of the local area, it should be constructed from building materials that match or complement the main building.

6.44 In some instances, materials and finishes that are different to the original property may be acceptable, for example, where they are of high quality, complement the original materials, provide an interesting contrast and are well suited to the site context.

NEIGHBOURING AMENITY IMPACTS

6.45 It is important to make sure that your extension or alteration does not adversely affect the amenity of your neighbours.

6.46 There are three main ways that development can impact on neighbouring properties:

  • a. Loss of privacy
  • b. Loss of light (both in terms of direct sunlight and overall daylight levels)
  • c. Overbearing – a sense of being overly enclosed, hemmed in, walled in by oppressive building work.

a. Loss of privacy

6.47 Your extension should not result in significant loss of privacy to neighbouring dwellings and gardens, specifically habitable room windows and key outdoor garden areas. In general terms, the more direct the angle of overlooking and the closer the overlooking relationship, the more harmful it is likely to be.

6.48 Generally, the most sensitive garden area is the private rear garden, in particular that which is immediately outside the rear windows/doors to a house. These are often patio areas. In large gardens, the entire garden is usually not equally attributed the same degree of protection from overlooking. However, there is not one fixed rule as a neighbour may have invested in an important amenity space or facility at the top of their garden, such as a summer house or swimming pool. This can affect how harmful it may be to introduce overlooking.

b. Loss of light (daylight & sunlight)

6.49 Care should be taken in the design of new residential extensions and alterations to ensure that adequate levels of natural light and sunlight can be achieved to both existing and new buildings.

6.50 Your extension must not significantly reduce the amount of daylight and sunlight available to neighbouring properties, specifically habitable room windows and key outdoor garden areas.

c. Overbearing - The 45 degree guideline

6.51 Where buildings are located adjacent or close to one another, the 45 degree guideline is a useful tool for assessing whether a significant loss of light or overbearing impact to neighbours might result from a development proposal. This guideline is generally applied to neighbouring windows which serve habitable rooms, both at ground floor and above, as they may relate to a proposed extension (be that extension single or double storey and to the front, side and/or rear).

How to use the 45 degree guideline?

  1. Locate the mid-point of the nearest window (or patio doors or bi-fold doors) serving a habitable room in the neighbouring property;
  2. Draw a line from the mid-point of the window at an angle of 45 degrees towards the proposed development (on an overhead plan, e.g., proposed site layout plan);
  3. Does the proposed extension cut across this line?

6.52 If an extension interrupts the 45 degree line, this indicates that the proposal is likely to cause significant harm to the neighbouring property in terms of loss of light (and perhaps also overbearing). A proposal which breaches a 45 degree line is more likely to be refused. However, sometimes proposals which do not breach a 45 degree line may still result in an unacceptable amount of loss of light and/or overbearing to neighbouring property and also be refused. (Fig. 6.1)

Fig. 6.1 The 45 degree guideline

6.53 However, the degree of impact on other aspects of the property must also be considered in the balance, for example outdoor amenity spaces. If a large amount of key outdoor amenity space sits within a 45 degree line (and would be subject to significant loss of light and/or overbearing) a proposal may also be resisted.

6.54 Other factors affect the level of impact which an extension may have in terms of loss-of-light, for example:

  • Orientation in relation to the sun path (generally east to south to west);
  • Levels;
  • Permanent boundary treatments (including what could be erected under Permitted Development rights);
  • Foliage, particularly protected trees (trees in conservation areas which are worthy of retention and trees protected by Tree Preservation Orders);
  • Distance separation along the 45 degree line;
  • The design of the extension. For example, lowered eaves and hipped roofs are likely to have less impact;
  • Materials – darker materials absorb more light than lighter materials;
  • A balanced assessment of cumulative amenity impacts, including overbearing and loss of privacy, on all neighbouring windows and outdoor amenity spaces.

FORM OF EXTENSIONS

  • a. Front extensions
  • b. Rear extensions
  • c. Side extensions
  • d. Roof extensions and alterations
  • e. Garages and other outbuildings

a. Front extensions

6.55 Front elevations are the most important components in defining the character and appearance of a street scene. Any extension proposed to the front of a house, especially those that project forward of an established building line, should be designed to make a positive contribution to improving the character and appearance of the street scene.

6.56 Streets are often characterised by a common design based upon the repetition of an architectural style and/or a setting which establishes a distinctive building rhythm. Unless a front extension is small enough to be absorbed within the design of the building and the street scene as a whole it will rarely be visually acceptable as it will interrupt this rhythm and have a detrimental impact on the character of the street.

Porches: Front

6.57 Adding a porch can have a significant effect on the appearance of your property and street. In some cases, a porch can add interest on what may otherwise be a blank elevation. A porch of poor design and quality that bears no relation to the symmetry of neighbouring properties or the terrace can however damage the character and appearance of the whole street.

6.58 It is important that a new porch reflects the design and character of your property, and it should be designed to look like a part of your original property. Proposals for porches should normally be modest in scale and reflect the style, age, materials and roof style of the original property. On semi-detached and terraced properties, it is particularly important to consider the symmetry and design of neighbouring porches.

Bay Windows: Front

6.59 Bay windows to the front of a property should be in keeping with the style of the house. Materiality, size, proportions of glazed areas and roof form will be looked at when assessing a proposal.

b. Rear extensions (including conservatories)

6.60 Development to the rear of a house is often the most practical way to increase the size of a dwelling and its living space. Rear extensions often have little or no impact on the street scene, however, it still remains important to ensure that design quality is of a high standard.

6.61 The primary consideration for single and two-storey rear extensions is the impact on the rear amenity space and impact on the amenity of the neighbouring property.

6.62 It is important that house extensions retain adequate levels of privacy and amenity. To achieve this, a minimum separation distance of 7 metres must be retained between any part of an extension containing new windows of a habitable room at first floor or above and any facing boundary.

6.63 If a rear house extension will face an elevation of a neighbouring house with windows of habitable rooms, there should be a minimum distance of 21 metres between the extension and the original elevation of the neighbouring house.

6.64 For a house extension with habitable rooms facing a blank elevation or one with windows of non-habitable rooms, an interface distance of no less than 14 metres should be observed.

6.65 These distances may be relaxed where the design or orientation is such that the amenity of a neighbouring property is not compromised. Alternatively, these distances may be increased if there is a change in levels, which would result in an adverse effect on the privacy and amenity of a neighbouring property. For every additional 0.5m increase in height difference between properties we would add 1.5m to the expected distance between elevations.

c. Side extensions

6.66 Side extensions not only impact on the setting of a house but can also have an impact on the character and appearance of the street scene. The council will seek to prevent the loss of spaces between buildings where the spaces are important in defining the character of the street scene, and where their loss would give the impression of a continuous built form, or create a 'terracing effect'. It is therefore essential that side extensions must be well designed, with building materials and styles that match or complement the original house.

6.67 To avoid the appearance of terracing the extension should be set back by at least 0.5metres. The extension should also have a lower roofline than the original building and the style of the roof of the original building should be reflected in the roof of the extension, e.g. a hipped roof property should have a hipped roof extension.

d. Roof extensions & alterations

6.68 Roof conversions and alterations can have a significant effect on the appearance of a house and street scene. Careful consideration must be given to size and design of dormer windows which will need to be sympathetic to your existing and neighbouring properties.

6.69 Dormer roof extensions on the front of semi-detached properties or terraced housing are generally not acceptable, due to the unbalancing effect on adjoining houses and the general street scene. Exceptions are limited only to where an original front dormer already exists.

6.70 The following points should be considered when designing a roof extension:

  • Design: Dormer roof extensions should be set down from the main ridge line and reflect the style and proportion of windows on the existing house. Extensions can have gabled, hipped or curved roofs (subject to the criteria on position) and should normally align with the windows below. Flat roofs should be resisted.
  • Window Proportions: The roof extension should not normally be wider than the window below – to retain the balance of your house.
  • Overlooking: Care should be taken to ensure that the design and location of a roof dormer to minimise overlooking of adjoining properties.
  • Scale: Dormer roof extensions should normally be subordinate features on the roof and should not occupy more than half the width or depth of the roof.
  • Position: Dormers should not overlap or wrap around a hipped roof or rise above the ridge level. They should be at least one metre from the party wall, flank wall or chimney stack.
  • Dormer Roofs: Should be sympathetic to the main roof of the house – for example, pitched roofs of dormers should be hipped at the same angle of the main roof.
  • Materials: Materials should be in keeping with those on the rest of the house.

Dormer Windows

6.71 A 'dormer window' is vertical window(s) or opening in a sloping roof having its own roof. There are different types of dormer windows; flat, pitched or curved.

6.72 Pitched roofs on dormer windows will normally be considered more favourably than flat roofs (where permission is needed).

6.73 Generally, flat roof dormer windows will not be supported. Flat roof dormers are much harder to design and detail and will generally not be acceptable at the front of a dwelling or where the roof of the original house has a pitched roof.

Rooflights

6.74 Rooflights can be the best way to obtain natural light into a loft conversion or roof space and do not always need planning permission. Any rooflight should be carefully positioned in order to not impact detrimentally on the appearance of the building.

6.75 On front roofscapes, windows should be 'conservation type' windows to fit flush with the roof slope and not dominant in terms of their number. It is preferable to position rooflights on rear roof slopes if possible.

Balconies

6.76 Balconies overlooking amenity areas are unlikely to be acceptable.

e. Garages and other outbuildings

6.77 A garage or parking space needs to be designed to meet minimum standards set by Leicestershire County Council Highways in order for it to be regarded as a parking space for a dwelling:

  • Garage – 3 x 6 metres (internal measurement)
  • Parking Space – 2.4 x 4.8 metres

6.78 Garages/outbuildings in highly prominent locations which sit front of the building line will not be accepted.

6.79 Garages should be made of matching or similar materials to your home and should have a pitched roof.

GARDEN EXTENSIONS

6.80 The inclusion of agricultural land within the curtilage of a dwelling or the incorporation of 'open space' landscaping strips within residential areas into a garden (notwithstanding whether you own the land) is a material change of use requiring planning permission.

6.81 Agricultural land that is used for the purposes of native species planting, formation of wildlife areas and nature conservation measures will not normally require planning permission.

6.82 In certain circumstances garden extensions may be resisted by the Council. Although the land concerned may remain 'open', in that there may be no buildings on the land, the effect of garden fences, garden landscaping and other domestic paraphernalia (e.g. chairs, benches, football goals, climbing frames, washing lines, garden ornaments, etc.) can have a detrimental effect on the natural and/or undeveloped character and appearance of the land. In some landscape settings, the enclosure of the land itself may harm the character of the area.

Garden Extensions Involving Agricultural Land

6.83 The Council will use the following criteria to assess proposals for garden extensions involving agricultural land:

Size of garden extension

6.84 A proposed garden extension should not be excessive in size. Proposals that are small-scale and involve a small amount of land take are more likely to be considered acceptable.

Shape of garden extension

6.85 A proposed garden extension must relate well to the existing built form of the settlement. It should have an affinity with the built-up part of the settlement, as opposed to the surrounding countryside. Proposed garden extensions that involve 'squaring-off' a rear garden boundary to a line similar to that of neighbouring properties, or to a prominent natural boundary, are more likely to be appropriate, except where this conflicts with the Limit to Development identified in a Neighbourhood Plan.

6.86 Proposed residential garden extensions that would abut an established boundary (i.e. field hedgerow or fence) are more likely to fit into the landscape and therefore be acceptable to the Council than a proposed extension with no natural boundaries. (Fig. 6.2)

Fig. 6.2 Example of appropriate and inappropriate garden extensions

Boundary Treatments

6.87 Where a new boundary is necessary it should reflect the landscape character of the area. In rural areas it is generally considered that a wooden post and rail fence under-planted with a native species hedgerow and/or tree mix is the most appropriate solution. The hedgerow and tree mix should reflect the composition of native hedges in the area. The Council may attach conditions to planning permissions requiring details of the boundary treatment and proposed planting to be submitted and approved by the District Council (if these details are not submitted with the planning application). Close-boarded timber fences will not normally be appropriate, particularly where they would abut the open countryside. (Fig. 6.3, Fig. 6.4)

Fig. 6.3 Boundary treatments of garden extensions

Fig. 6.4 Boundary treatments of garden extensions

Permitted Development Rights

6.88 The Council may withdraw certain Permitted Development Rights on applications involving a change of use of agricultural land to residential garden. A common reason why this is done is to mitigate the impact of the development on landscape character, for example by not allowing buildings to be erected on the land which has been incorporated into the residential curtilage. Normal permitted development rights will continue to exist within the original garden area and the Council may require all sheds, structures and other domestic development to take place in these areas.

Nature Conservation

6.89 The Council will expect proposals for garden extensions to respect land supporting protected species or displaying biodiversity importance. The Council is likely to resist the incorporation of sites of ecological importance into private garden areas, including designated sites and undesignated habitats (e.g. floodplains, field ponds etc.) if they are found to contain protected species and/or their habitats and mitigation is not an option. In circumstances where the proposed garden extension may affect a site of ecological interest the applicant will be expected to submit an ecological survey with the application. The survey would identify the ecological interest on the site and appraise the impacts of the proposal. They survey may contain mitigation measures.

Garden extensions involving public open space

6.90 In principle, the Council will resist proposals for the incorporation of open amenity spaces in residential areas into private gardens. These open spaces were usually designed into the development to benefit the public realm, to provide a sense of space, greenery and/or to benefit natural surveillance. Garden extensions which result in the loss of green and/or open spaces within residential areas are likely to detract from the openness and/or character and appearance of the area. As a general rule, areas which consist of part of an approved landscaping scheme for the area will not be permitted to be incorporated into private gardens.

6.91 However there may be circumstances in which incidental open space may be appropriately incorporated into private gardens. These are as follows:

  • where the proposal would take only a small part of an incidental open space, which itself does not contribute significantly to the street scene;
  • where the proposal would not result in a reduction in the overall spaciousness of the street scene;
  • where the proposal would not result in a hard edge to the pavement/highway (e.g., by a wall or close-boarded fence).

6.92 In all cases, the boundary treatment erected around the extended garden area should respect the height and design of existing boundary treatments in the locality. The District Council will normally require the retention of a landscape strip of at least 1 metre on the outside of a repositioned garden boundary. It is likely that vegetation lost as part of the garden extension will need to be replaced in the remaining area of incidental open space outside the extended garden area.

Garden Extensions Involving Highway Land/Verges

6.93 Proposed garden extensions which involve the incorporation of highway verges or other highway land require formal legal procedures, as well as planning permission. Applicants should contact the local highway authority (Leicestershire County Council) for guidance on this matter.

WORKING FROM HOME

6.94 The District Council recognises that there are many advantages in working from home. In terms of sustainability, it reduces the need to travel to and from work and may reduce vehicle emissions and congestion. Reducing the need to travel to work can also increase the amount of productive time spent at work for the employee and may enable people who would not otherwise be able to work to enter the workplace.

6.95 Homeworking may also provide employment opportunities, from outworking for existing businesses, to setting up a business using modern technology. Opportunities for working from home may also help to encourage diversification in the rural economy.

6.96 There are many different types of business that can be carried out from home. Although this list is far from exhaustive, it includes using a room as an office for business purposes, childminding, using rooms for alternative therapy, hairdressing, dressmaking, music/language teaching etc.

6.97 Whilst appropriate types of home working will be encouraged by the District Council it is important that the nature of the work carried out at home is compatible with a residential environment and does not lead to problems of noise, disturbance, excessive traffic generation or have a visual impact which would be out of keeping with a residential environment.

The need for Planning Permission

6.99 Planning permission will not always be required to work from home. Whether planning permission is required will largely depend on the nature and scale of the activity and whether the house retains its overall character as a home, or whether the business activities are such that it has altered.

6.99 Planning permission may be required if one or more of the following applies:

i. The home is no longer primarily used as a private residence.

In general, it is considered acceptable for one room in a house to be used for business purposes. If more than one room in the dwelling is required for use in connection with business purposes planning permission is more likely to be required.

ii. There is a marked rise in traffic or people calling at a property.

If the nature of the business means that a considerable number of people attend the property on a regular basis, planning permission is likely to be required. If an employee (in addition to a person in residence) is required to help run the business from the premises, then planning permission is required.

iii. The business involves activities that are out of keeping with a residential area

For a business to operate from a residential area without the need for planning permission there should be no obvious signs that the business is operated from there. Once such activities become apparent, e.g. visible storage areas, ongoing car repairs, large number of callers to a property, then a material change in the use of the premises is likely to have occurred and a requirement for planning permission arisen.

6.100 It should be noted that the presence of a small commercial-type vehicle at a property, e.g. a van or taxi, does not necessarily imply that a change of use has occurred. A vehicle may have a dual purpose and its presence at a property for domestic purposes, including transport to and from a place of work, is unlikely to constitute a change of use.

Childminders

6.101 Planning legislation allows for a childminder to accommodate a maximum of six children (including the proprietor's own) at any one time at a private residence without the need for planning permission. Any increase in the number of children cared for may have implications in terms of highway safety and disturbance and requires full planning permission.

Bed and Breakfast Accommodation

6.102 Given the tourism potential of Harborough district, the provision of bed and breakfast accommodation will generally be encouraged. It is normally considered acceptable for one room in a dwelling to be used for this purpose without the need for planning permission. If the number of rooms used for bed and breakfast accommodation exceeds 50% of the number of bedrooms or alternatively if more than two rooms of the dwelling are used for this purpose, this will constitute a material change of use and planning permission will be required.

Advertisements

6.103 It is important that any residential property used for the purposes of carrying out a business remains completely residential in character. Given that the majority of businesses carried out from home (without planning permission) will not be attracting people to call at the premises, there is unlikely to be a need to advertise the premises. It is recognised, however, that this will not always be the case, e.g. using part of a dwelling for bed and breakfast accommodation. Any proposed advertisements are likely to require Advertisement Consent under the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) (England) Regulations. Advertisements should be as discreet as possible. Advertisements that are considered to be detrimental to amenity or public safety are likely to be refused by the Council.

QUESTION 6:

Would you like to make any comments in relation to Section 6? Please quote relevant paragraph numbers in your response.

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