Planning Permission

Under legislation that came into effect in England on 6 April 2010, 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 thecurtilage* boundary. In other cases no new building to behigher 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
  • Until 30 May 2016 outside designated land* and sites of special scientific interest no new building to exceed gross floor space of 200 square metres.

Specific to extending or altering industrial buildings and warehouses:

Applicable to all:

  • Development must be within the curtilage* of an existing industrial building or warehouse
  • No development to come within 5m of the curtilage* boundary
  • No development within the curtilage* of a listed building
  • Until 30 May 2016 the cumulative limit for new buildings and extensions must not exceed the gross floor space of the original building* by more than 50% or 1,000 square metres, whichever is lesser
  • On designated land* the cumulative limit for new buildings and extensions is 10% of original building or 500 square metres, whichever is lesser
  • Until 30 May 2016 in sites of special scientific interest the cumulative limit for new buildings and extensions is 25% of the original building or 1,000 square metres, whichever is lesser
  • 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 (Examples of such are provided in the Government guidance link below)
  • 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 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 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

Additional guidance

You are strongly advised to read all the interim guidance on the new permitted development rules.

Important notes

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. Further information on this can be found here.

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.

Terms used in this guide

  • 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.
    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.
  • 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 introduced on 6 April 2010.
    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.
  • 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 1992 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.

Building Regulations

The building regulations will generally apply to all work (new buildings, extensions and alterations). You may wish to contact your local Building Control body for further advice.

Disclaimer

This is an introductory guide and is not a definitive source of legal information. Read the full disclaimer here.

This guidance relates to the planning regime for England. Policy in Wales may differ. If in doubt contact your Local Planning Authority.