Permitted development rights for businesses

You can make certain types of minor changes to your business property without needing to apply for planning permission. These are called permitted development rights.

On this page:

Running a business from home

Planning permission may be required if you are considering running a business from your home. There is no simple test to identify when planning permission is required. It will depend on the size and location of your property, and the particular business activity.

The Planning Portal offers some guidance on planning permission for home offices.

Running a business from commercial premises

You may be intending to run a business from premises already in commercial use. In some instances, a change of use of a building or land does not require planning permission. This applies if both the present and proposed uses fall within the same 'class' as defined in the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987

It is also possible to change use between some classes without making an application. Changes to permitted development rights have extended the range of changes that can take place without permission from the council. Some will require Prior Notification applications. 

The Planning Portal provides more information on changes of use.

Extending your business premises

Minor extensions, including the erection of additional buildings within the curtilage, benefit from permitted development rights.

The Planning Portal provides guidance on permission for commercial developments.

Displaying advertisements and signs

Most outdoor advertising requires consent, and there are many regulations relating to their display.

Further information can be found in the government's guidance document, which you can download below.

Icon for pdf Outdoor advertisements and signs: A guide for advertisers [1.14MB]

Further requirements 

There are different requirements for permitted development rights, depending on the location and nature of your property, which you can find out about using the headings below.

Conservation area

You can find out if your property is in a conservation area by using our online map of the New Forest.

Listed buildings

You can find out if your property is a listed building by searching The National Heritage List.

Cranbourne Chase

You can find out if your property is within the Cranbourne Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty by checking the area's boundaries on the Cranbourne Chase website.

Permitted development rights removed

Planning conditions can remove permitted development rights on the original or subsequent planning permission of a property. These rights can also be removed where we have made an Article 4 Direction

To find out whether conditions removing permitted development rights have been applied to your property, use the online planning register.

Note that the records may be incomplete, and the council accepts no responsibility for any errors or omissions within the register.

You can also find out if either of these conditions apply to your property by using our online map of the New Forest.

Permitted development rights and compliance with the habitats regulations

The General Permitted Development Order (GPDO) allows for the change of use of some buildings and land to Class C3 (dwellinghouses) with this development subject to a prior approval process. However the Habitats Regulations also apply to such developments.  We are obliged by the regulations to assume that there will be a significant effect on the New Forest and Solent SPAs.

Any development for prior approval should also be accompanied by an application for us to do a Habitats Regulations Assessment on the proposed development (please note there is a £30 fee for this). The development will need to include a mitigation package to mitigate the significant effect on the New Forest and Solent SPAs which new residential development would otherwise result in.

The mitigation package relating to recreational mitigation can be secured by completing a Unilateral Undertaking. However, the assessment will also need to demonstrate effective mitigation for neither nitrates entering the Solent designated sites catchment, or phosphates entering the River Avon catchment.  The requirement for in new development applies across the whole of the District and landowners/developers can prepare a site-specific 'nutrient budget' setting out how the nutrients arising from the development will be managed. Options include on- and off-site mitigation measures, proportionate to the scale of the development (and associated impacts) proposed.    

If you have any general queries about our Mitigation Strategy please contact us for further information. If you have queries in relation to a specific development, please contact your case officer.

Share this page

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share by email


Print this page