The construction of new premises nearly always needs an application for planning permission. The local development plan (LDP) for your area will give you some indication of whether your proposal is likely to be acceptable, so it is worth talking to your local planning authority before submitting an application.

Minor extensions to industrial buildings and warehouses, including putting up additional buildings within the curtilage, may not require planning permission.

Planning permission will not normally be required subject to the following limitations:

  • New buildings within the curtilage of an exiting site - if sited within 10 of the site boundary, the height must not exceed 5 metres. In all other cases, the height must not exceed the highest building within the curtilage of the premises or 15 metres, whichever is lower.
  • Extensions - if sited within 10 of the site boundary, the height must not exceed 5 metres. In all other cases, the height must not exceed the height of the building being extended or altered.
  • No development can take place within 5 metres of any boundary of the curtilage of the premises.
  • The gross floor space of any new building erected must not exceed 100 square metres.
  • The gross floor space of the original building must not be exceeded by more than:
    • 10% in respect of development within a conservation area, national Park, areas of outstanding natural beauty or within a World Heritage Site, or 25% in any other case.
    • 500 square metres in respect of development within a conservation area, national Park, areas of outstanding natural beauty or within a World Heritage Site, or 1,000 square metres in any other case.

whichever is the lesser

  • Planning permission will be required if the development would lead to a reduction in the space available for the parking or turning of vehicles.

The following conditions also must be adhered to:

  • The development must be within the curtilage of an existing industrial building or warehouse;
  • Any building as erected, extended or altered may only be used:
    • in the case of an industrial building, for the carrying out of an industrial process for the purposes of the undertaking, for research and development of products or processes, or the provision of employee facilities ancillary to the undertaking;
    • in the case of a warehouse, for storage or distribution for the purposes of the undertaking or the provision of employee facilities ancillary to the undertaking;
  • No building as erected, extended or altered may be used to provide employee facilities*:
    • between 7.00 pm and 6.30 am, for employees other than those present at the premises of the undertaking for the purpose of their employment, or
    • at all, if a notifiable quantity of a hazardous substance is present at the premises of the undertaking;
  • Any new building erected must in the case of sites within a conservation area, national Park, areas of outstanding natural beauty or within a World Heritage Site, be constructed using materials which have a similar external appearance to those used for the existing industrial building or warehouse; and
  • Any extension or alteration must, in the case of sites within a conservation area, national Park, areas of outstanding natural beauty or within a World Heritage Site, be constructed using materials which have a similar external appearance to those used for the building being extended or altered.

* “Employee facilities” means social, care or recreational facilities provided for employees of the undertaking, including crèche facilities provided for the children of such employees.

If you are extending or altering a listed building or a building in a conservation area, you may require planning permission as well as listed building and conservation area consent before you proceed with any works.

Removal of permitted development rights

You need to be aware of whether the permitted development rights have been removed by the Local Planning Authority. If they have been removed, you must submit a planning application for the work.

The Local Planning Authority may have removed permitted development rights as a condition of the original planning permission for your property. This information will be available on the planning register held by the Local Planning Authority. Permitted development rights may also have been removed by an 'Article 4' direction. These are most common in conservation areas where the character of an area could be threatened by unmanaged development. Your solicitor should have informed you of whether an article 4 direction exists when you purchased the property, but you can check with the Local Planning Authority if you are not sure.