Home Construction Extending Business Premises: Do You Need Planning Permission?

Extending Business Premises: Do You Need Planning Permission?


Running a business can be demanding. While you have been spending your time trying to boost cashflow, attract the best talent and grow your small business, you may not have considered the practicalities of physical expansion.

When a business booms, it needs more space. This could be for a larger workforce, a higher inventory, or bigger manufacturing processes. But carrying out extensions in the UK can be complex. Although building regulations have been designed with health and safety in mind, they can be confusing. While there is lots of information about home extensions, there is little advice available for businesses.

If the time has come to expand your business premises, then you may be filled with questions and struggling to find the answers. To help, here is a brief guide about extending.

No Application Required

For a business building that is classified as industrial, such as a warehouse, planning permission is not required in two instances:

  1. If the extension will be 5m or under in height and sit at least 10m away from the boundary.
  2. That the extension is no higher than the existing building.
  3. In the instance that a temporary warehouse, greenhouse or storage facility is to be present for 28 days or less.

In addition, small alterations, including insulation or installing new CCF drywall, generally do not require planning permission, unless they would result in a change to the property’s use and commercial classification.

For commercial office premises, if planning a small extension or a new separate building, planning permission is usually not required if the new area measures 30 square metres or less.

Seek Planning Permission

Applying for planning permission can be a long and arduous process. However, failure to do so can result in enforcement notices, prosecution, or demolition of premises. As such, when in doubt, always seek advice, and make sure to apply for planning permission before commencing work – although you can do so retrospectively, this does carry a risk.

But when do you need to apply for planning permission? The types of work that require this, include:

  • If an extension will be less than 5m from the boundary
  • If the building premises are listed
  • If the current use or classification of the building would change after extension work
  • If planning an extension that is larger than those outlined above
  • If it will affect compliance with regulations

While only a brief guide, hopefully this has helped to answer some of the questions you have about extending your business premises and when to apply for planning permission.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here