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Conversion Of Attached Domestic Garage To Small Commercial Bakery Was Not A Material Change Of Use (Planning Inspectorate)

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Medway Council (MC) refused to grant a lawful development certificate for the use of an attached domestic garage as a small commercial bakery.

MC considered that the proposal would result in a material change of use of the dwelling and therefore constituted development.

The applicant appealed. In support of the appeal, the applicant stated that no extra traffic would be visiting the house, only small-scale machinery would be installed and noise and smell would be kept to a minimum. There would be no change in the external appearance of the dwelling.

The inspector referred to paragraph 14 of Planning Practice Guidance, When is permission required?  link here

“Do I need planning permission to home work or run a business from home?

Planning permission will not normally be required to home work or run a business from home, provided that a dwelling house remains a private residence first and business second (or in planning terms, provided that a business does not result in a material change of use of a property so that it is no longer a single dwelling house). A local planning authority is responsible for deciding whether planning permission is required and will determine this on the basis of individual facts. Issues which they may consider include whether home working or a business leads to notable increases in traffic, disturbance to neighbours, abnormal noise or smells or the need for any major structural changes or major renovations.”

The inspector considered that the use described in the application would not be significant enough to change the house and garage from a single dwelling use to a mixed use as a dwelling and a business. The proposed activities were no different to those undertaken in a typical domestic kitchen and were unlikely to result in abnormal noise or smells. The scale of the activities, at the level indicated in the application, was unlikely to lead to notable increases in traffic or to disturb neighbours.

The inspector did, however, state that if the business grew, it was possible that planning permission could be required in the future.


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Tom Warrender


Tom Warrender


Tom is a Partner and Commercial Property Solicitor with a wealth of experience acting for clients both locally and nationally since 2005.