If you are thinking of making changes to your business premises, you may need planning permission. Find out what this involves, along with information about other common building-related issues.

You’ll probably need planning permission if you want to:

  • build something new
  • make a major change to your building - eg building an extension
  • change the use of your building
To find out if your project will need planning permission, contact your local planning authority (LPA).

Applying for planning permission

You can apply for planning permission online.

If your project needs planning permission and you do the work without getting it, you can be served an ‘enforcement notice’ ordering you to undo all the changes you have made.

It’s illegal to ignore an enforcement notice, but you can appeal against it.

When you don't need it

Some building projects don’t need planning permission. This is known as ‘permitted development rights

Building projects that normally have permitted development rights include:

  • industrial premises and warehouses - though there are some limits and conditions
  • some outdoor signs and advertisements - though there are special rules around these
  • demolition - but before you begin you must get approval to demolish from your local planning authority
There are other projects that might not need planning permission, eg projects that will have no impact on your neighbours or the environment. If you think this could apply to your project, check with your Local Planning Authority.

Community Rights in England

If your building project benefits the local community, and the community supports it, you may not have to go through the normal planning permission process. Neighbourhood planning and Community Right to Build lets your community grant planning permission directly under certain circumstances.

After you apply

Your local planning authority (LPA) will decide whether to grant planning permission for your project based on its development plan. It will not take into account whether local people want it.

To decide whether a planning application fits with its development plan, an LPA will look at:

  • the number, size, layout, siting and external appearance of buildings
  • the infrastructure available - eg roads and water supply
  • any landscaping needs
  • what you want to use the development for
  • how your development would affect the surrounding area - eg if it would create lots more traffic
In most cases, planning applications are decided within 8 weeks. In England, for unusually large or complex applications the time limit is 13 weeks. If the decision takes longer, you can appeal.

The erection, extension or alteration of an industrial building or warehouse is considered to be permitted development, not requiring an application for planning permission, subject to the following limits and conditions shown below.

Specific to new industrial buildings and warehouses:

  • No new building to be higher than 5m, if within 10m of the curtilage boundary. In other cases no new building to be higher than the highest building within the curtilage boundary or 15m - whichever is lower
  • No new building to exceed gross floor space of 100 square metres in designated land and sites of special scientific interest. In other cases 200 square metres

Specific to extending or altering industrial buildings and warehouses:

  • No extension or alteration to make building higher than 5m, if within 10m of the curtilage boundary. In all other cases any extension or alteration must not be higher than the building being extended or altered

Applicable to all:

  • Development must be within the curtilage of an existing industrial building or warehouse
  • Gross floor space must not exceed:
  • -110% of the original building or 500 square metres (whichever is lesser) on designated land
    -125% of the original building or 1,000 square metres (whichever is the lesser) on a site of special scientific interest
    -150% of the original building or 1,000 square metres (whichever is the lesser) in all other cases
  • No development to come within 5m of the curtilage boundary
  • No development within the curtilage of a listed building
  • On designated land any new, extended or altered buildings to use materials similar in external appearance to those used for existing industrial building or warehouse
  • Developments that would reduce space available for parking or turning vehicles are not permitted development
  • Any new, extended or altered industrial building must relate to the current use of the original building, the provision of staff facilities or for research and development of products or processes
  • Any new, extended or altered warehouse must relate to the current use of the original building or the provision of staff facilities
  • No new, extended or altered building to provide staff facilities:
    -Between 7pm and 6.30am, for employees other than those present at the premises of the undertaking for the purposes of their employment
    -At all, if a notifiable quantity of hazardous substance is present
Where there is any doubt as to whether a development would be permitted development, advice from the local planning authority should be sought. To be certain that a proposed development is lawful and does not require an application for planning permission, it is possible to apply for a "Lawful Development Certificate" from the local authority.

A local planning authority may also have removed some permitted development rights by issuing what is known as an Article 4 Direction or may have removed those rights on the original, or any subsequent, planning permission for the site.

This will mean a planning application will be needed for development which normally does not need one. Before undertaking any development, checks should be undertaken with the local planning authority to determine whether any restrictions on permitted development have been made.

Unresolved questions about your property or land?

Check for specific issues or obtain a comprehensive appraisal of any given location with accurate, current environmental reports and searches.

Glossary of Terms

Any protrusions, such as chimneys, flues, plant and machinery and antennae above the roof should not be taken into account when considering the height of the highest building within the curtilage. However, when calculating the height of any building being erected, extended or altered, the measurement should be to the highest part of the new building, extension, or alteration and should include any protrusions above the roof.

There may be more than one original building within the curtilage of the premises. Where this is the case, and the buildings are used for the same undertaking, they will be treated as a single original building for the purposes of measurement. Thus the gross floor space of the original building will be calculated on the basis of the gross floor space of every original building within the curtilage of the premises.

  • Industrial Building – means a building used for the carrying out of an industrial process and includes a building used for the carrying out of such a process on land used as a dock, harbour or quay for the purposes of an industrial undertaking and land used for research and development of products or processes, but does not include a building on land in or adjacent to and occupied together with a mine
  • Warehouse – means a building used for any purpose within Class B8 (storage or distribution) of the Schedule to the Use Classes Order but does not include a building on land in or adjacent to and occupied together with a mine.
  • The erection of a building or warehouse will involve the establishment of a new building that is not physically joined to any wall of an existing building on the site.
  • The curtilage normally comprises the area of land surrounding the premises. However, in some cases, it may not comprise all of the land in which the premises sits. Where there is any doubt as to what the curtilage comprises, we strongly advise that you contact your local planning authority for advice
  • Height of the highest building – should be calculated as the height of the ridge line of the main roof (even if there are roofs with ridge lines at a lower or higher level) or the height of the main roof where roofs on a building are flat or mono-pitched.
  • Original building - The original building is defined as a building as it existed on 1 July 1948 (if it was built before that date). or as it was built when built after 1 July 1948. The original building will therefore not include any extension to a building that has been built at any time since 1 July 1948. The original building does not, however, include any new building that has been built at any time without the need for planning permission as a result of the legislation.
  • Designated land includes national parks and the Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, conservation areas and World Heritage Sites.
  • Hazardous substances - A ‘Notifiable quantity’ of a hazardous substance is as set out in Schedule 1 to The Planning (Hazardous Substances) Regulations 2015 (as amended).
  • Employee facilities– means social, care or recreational facilities provided for employees of the undertaking, including crèche facilities provided for the children of such employees.


You may need to apply for advertisement consent to display an advertisement bigger than 0.3 square metres (or any size if illuminated) on the front of, or outside, your property (be it a house or business premises).

Therefore, you are unlikely to need consent for a small sign with your house/building name or number on it, or even a sign saying 'Beware of the dog'.

Temporary notices up to 0.6 square metres relating to local events, such as street parties and concerts, may also be displayed for a short period. There are different rules for estate agents' boards, but, in general, these should not be bigger than 0.5 square metres. 

The planning regime for larger, professional adverts, signs for businesses and so on is complex though all outdoor advertisements must comply with five 'standard conditions'.

They must:

  • be kept clean and tidy
  • be kept in a safe condition
  • have the permission of the owner of the site on which they are displayed(this includes the Highway Authority if the sign is to be placed on highway land)
  • not obscure, or hinder the interpretation of, official road, rail, waterway or aircraft signs, or otherwise make hazardous the use of these types of transport
  • be removed carefully where so required by the planning authority.
You can also always contact your local planning authority for further advice.

Building Regulations

Domestic adverts and signs are not normally subject to building control.

However, they must 'be kept in a safe condition' as required by the conditions above.


This is an introductory guide and is not a definitive source of legal information. This guidance relates to the planning regime for England. Policy in Wales may differ. If in doubt contact your Local Planning Authority.

If your application is refused, try to come to an agreement with the local planning authority (LPA) by adjusting your plans.

If you can’t reach an agreement, you can appeal.

Appeals can take several months to be decided.

What you can appeal against

You can only appeal against a decision if the LPA:

  • refuses your application
  • grants permission but with conditions you object to
  • refuses to change or remove a condition of planning permission that has been granted with conditions
  • refuses to approve something reserved under an ‘outline permission’ – planning permission for a general idea, not of a specific plan
  • refuses to approve something that you were told to build by your LPA as part of a previous planning permission (ie the previous planning permission was granted ‘with conditions’ and the current development was one of the conditions)
  • does not make a decision on the application within the deadline and doesn’t get your written consent to change the deadline
  • serves you with an enforcement notice because it thinks you have broken planning permission and you don’t agree

You must use a builder or scaffolding contractor who is trained and competent if you want to put up scaffolding.

It’s the responsibility of the builder or scaffolding company to get a licence for any scaffolding they put up on the highway (this includes the pavement).

But it’s your responsibility to check they have this legal document and that it doesn’t run out before the building work is finished.

Your local council may have a list of approved scaffolding contractors.


If there’s a risk to the public, schedule scaffolding work for quiet times or get a highway closure from your local council.

By law, you must check scaffolding to make sure it’s safe:

  • before you first use it
  • every 7 days while it’s up
  • after alterations, damage or extreme weather conditions

You can use CCTV to protect your property but you must follow the Data Protection Act.

You must:

  • put up a sign to let people know CCTV is being used and why
  • be able to provide images within 40 days to anyone you’ve recorded (you can charge up to £10 for this)
  • share images with the authorities, eg the police, if they ask for them
  • keep images only as long as your business needs them
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has guidance on how to use CCTV cameras and storing images.

During working hours the temperature in all indoor workplaces must be reasonable.

There’s no law for minimum or maximum working temperatures, eg when it’s too cold or too hot to work.

However, guidance suggests a minimum of 16ºC or 13ºC if employees are doing physical work.

There’s no guidance for a maximum temperature limit. Employers must stick to health and safety at work law, including:

  • keeping the temperature at a comfortable level
  • providing clean and fresh air
Employees should talk to their employer if the workplace temperature isn’t comfortable.

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rates how energy efficient your building is using grades from A to G (with ‘A’ the most efficient grade).

When you need an EPC

You must have an EPC if:

  • you rent out or sell the premises
  • a building under construction is finished
  • there are changes to the number of parts used for separate occupation and these changes involve providing or extending fixed heating, air
  • conditioning or mechanical ventilation systems
You can be fined between £500 and £5,000 based on the rateable value of the building if you don’t make an EPC available to any prospective buyer or tenant.

When you must display one

You must display an EPC by fixing it to your commercial building if all these apply:
  • the total useful floor area is over 500 square meters
  • the building is frequently visited by the public
  • an EPC has already been produced for the building’s sale, rental or construction
How much it costs

The cost of an EPC will depend on the building being assessed. All EPCs are valid for 10 years.

How to get a certificate

You can only get an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) from a commercial energy assessor.

The type of assessor you’ll need will depend on the complexity and features of the building. If you need advice on choosing one, speak to a commercial (non-domestic) energy assessor or contact the approved accreditation scheme they belong to.

You don’t need an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) if you can demonstrate that the building is any of these:
  • listed or officially protected and the minimum energy performance requirements would unacceptably alter it
  • a temporary building only going to be used for 2 years or less
  • used as a place of worship or for other religious activities
  • an industrial site, workshop or non-residential agricultural building that doesn’t use much energy
  • a detached building with a total floor space under 50 square metres
  • due to be demolished by the seller or landlord and they have all the relevant planning and conservation consents
  • Vacant buildings and demolition
A building is also exempt if all of the following are true:
  • it’s due to be sold or rented out with vacant possession
  • it’s suitable for demolition and the site could be redeveloped
  • the buyer or tenant has applied for planning permission to demolish it
Appeal a penalty charge
You can ask for a review if you get a penalty charge notice. The notice will tell you how to do this. If the review fails you’ll get a letter confirming your penalty.

You can then appeal to the county court (or sheriff court in Scotland) but you must do this within 28 days of receiving your confirmed penalty.


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4 results found 
EU-Asia Chemical Regulations Workshop, Dublin, December 2018

Thursday 01 November 2018

The ‘EU-Asia Chemical Regulations Workshop – Dublin’ organised by CIRS, Co-sponsored by Horizon Risk Consultancy Ltd will be scheduled on 6 December, 2018 in Dublin. Experts from CIRS Ireland, CIRS Group Korea together with China Chemical Management Authorities will bring you the latest chemical regulations and management measures in China, Korea and Europe, as well as practical compliance solutions. Time: 8:30 am – 15:00 pm, 6th December 2018 Location: Clayton Hotel Ballsbridge at Merrion Rd, Dublin, D04 NX33, Ireland Sponsor/Co-sponsor: CIRS Ireland, Chemsafe Srl, Horizon Risk Consultancy Ltd Invited Organisation: Health and Safety Authority (HSA), Irish Exporters Association (IEA), Compliance and Risks (TBD), Chemical Watch Why Attend? – Keep up to date with latest chemical regulations covering EU REACH, K-REACH, China REACH, China Hazardous Chemical Management Regulations with presentations delivered by authorities and experts from around the world; – 2 hours networking time to meet with your industry peers and government officials; – Share your insights and obtain tailored EU and Asia compliance approaches during Q&A. Our speakers include: Dr. Antonio Conto, European Registered Toxicologist, Chemsafe Srl Speaker to be decided, China Chemical Management Authority Mr. Austin McCabe, Chemical regulatory consultant, CIRS Ireland Mr. Bryan Zhou, Deputy GM/ Senior regulatory consultant, CIRS Ireland Mr. Junho Lee, Director, CIRS Group Korea As the partner of CIRS and the co-sponsor of the event, we offer 10 free space for our clients. Please contact Horizon Risk Consultancy Ltd at +44 01484 505735 info@horizonriskconsultancy.com if you are interested to join the workshop. About chemical regulatory compliance in China: The Chinese chemical regulatory framework has become increasingly influenced by international chemical regulations, in particular the European and US framework. The previous legislation of management of new chemical substances in China was amended on October 15th, 2010, through the enactment of the ‘Measures for the environmental management of new chemical substances’ by China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP). This regulation is similar to EU REACH and adopts several principles and concepts of the European regulation, and thus has been called ‘China REACH’. However, China REACH is a general term for legislation covering hazardous, toxic and new chemical substances while the Measures specifically regulate new chemical substances. Horizon Risk Consultancy Ltd provide you cost effective chemical compliance and registration services through our partner CIRS, a leading regulatory compliance consultancy headquartered in Hangzhou, China. http://horizonriskconsultancy.com
Posted by Horizon Risk Consultancy Ltd
Kirklees’ Biggest Business Conference Returns

Tuesday 06 February 2018

Following on from the huge success of the 2017 Conference, the Mid Yorkshire Chamber is delighted to be hosting their 2018 Kirklees Business Conference (KBC) at John Smith’s Stadium, Huddersfield on Wednesday 21st March. The free, one-day conference has become an unmissable event in the local business calendar which is dedicated to helping businesses to connect, learn and grow. Attracting over 600 business people and 50 exhibitors, KBC includes a fantastic programme of engaging seminars, a discussion panel, surgery sessions and open networking throughout the day. This year the Mid Yorkshire Chamber is proud to announce an official partnership with Google bringing a Digital Garage to KBC as part of the seminar programme. Running alongside the four seminar sessions, more surgery sessions will also take place following their success last year. Held by local businesses located in the stadium boxes, the surgeries will provide the opportunity for companies to run their own seminars, workshops or one to ones. Rory Bourke, Events & Sponsorship Co-ordinator at the Chamber said: ”Kirklees Business Conference is definitely shaping up to be a day not to be missed. The conference is a fantastic opportunity to raise your profile, make new contacts and learn from other experienced professionals. There are many opportunities for local businesses to get involved through sponsorship, exhibiting or attending as a delegate.” Confirmed conference sponsors and partners include; AD:VENTURE, The John Smith’s Stadium, The Design Mechanics and Social Progress. Delegate tickets are free but registration is essential, significant interest is anticipated therefore early delegate booking via www.kirkleesbusinessconference.co.uk is advised to avoid disappointment. For further information about the conference follow @MYBizConfs and #KirkleesConf on twitter. To find out more about sponsoring or exhibiting at the event please email events@mycci.co.uk or call 01484 483679.
Posted by Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce
Around Town In the Huddersfield Live Hygge Tipi

Wednesday 15 November 2017

What better time to get together than Christmas? Around Town believe that connecting the business community of Huddersfield in its iconic locations and organisations is a brilliant way to share ideas, hear inspirational stories and have some FUN. Organised by Oli Smith, Michelle Crowther and Chris Buckley Around Town create memorable events every 3 months. 2018 plans are already underway; “as well as meeting at some amazing businesses we are walking Around Town in Spring - a fantastic way to get to know each other whilst experiencing some award winning locations and scenery in Huddersfield “ says Michelle And with Huddersfield Live December promises to be a memorable Around Town event. Hosted in the Hygge Tipi in St Georges Square, hear Sam Watt and Poppy Stahelin tell of the fabulous work the team at Huddersfield Live are doing and some of the stunning events planned for next year. Laura Drury sets the backdrop of how she formed the The Hygge Tipi and how it creates a convivial atmosphere for Huddersfield folk to mingle, drink mulled wine, and keep the winter night out in front of the log fire. All In the heart of Huddersfield. Tickets are limited and can be reserved FREE here. Chamber members old and new are very welcome. Around Town Events for 2018 confirmed. March 1st - Valli Opticians May 17th - Owen Scott Tailors May 25th - (Walk) Around Town - 15miles (approx) Breakfast Sarnies, The Kirklees Way, Finish in a Brewery!
Posted by The Alternative Board
New Guidance of China New Chemical Notification will come into force on 15 October, 2017

Monday 25 September 2017

New Guidance of China New Chemical Notification will come into force on 15 October, 2017. This will have a great impact to EU and UK chemical exporters. Here is the official public notice on China Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) website: http://english.mep.gov.cn We have created a Summary of Main Changes in English to help you understand the changes and better manage the risks. For EU and UK chemical exporters who wish to export to China or already exported to China, please contact sandy.lu@horizonriskconsultancy.com for a free copy of Summary of Main Changes as well as a free face to face briefing. About Horizon Risk Consultancy Ltd: Horizon Risk Consultancy Ltd provides integrated Health, Safety and Environmental risk management services to UK businesses, helping them reduce business risks and improve efficiency, and helping them access and grow in the Chinese market. Horizon risk consultancy works with its partner, a leading product safety management consultancy in China, to provide its clients China local support to product regulatory compliance, help them reducing business risks and removing trade barriers to entry.
Posted by Horizon Risk Consultancy Ltd
4 results found 
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