Thinking of Working From Home?

By Noel Grummitt
Principal Planner

Grummitt Planning has had an article published in the E-magazine of The Art of Home Based Business, regarding working from home and how it relates to planning approvals. We have provided a copy of this article for your perusal below. 

Do you know when you’re required to obtain approvals from your local Council?

Councils are concerned about the impact of home based businesses upon the amenity of residential areas and place limits upon the scale and operations of home businesses, particularly in regard to hours of operation, staff numbers and additional visitor traffic. 

How can I find out what these limitations may be? 

Most Council’s publish user guides for home businesses on their websites or provide them at their town planning enquiry counters. Whilst many small-scale, low-impact activities, may not require applications for approval it is always recommended that professional advice be sought. 

What do I do if I need to make an application to Council? 

If the scale or type of activity or service requires the lodgement of a development application, or the process is unclear, it is recommended that you speak with a  professional town planning consultant and engage their services. 

What happens If I don’t have, or don’t get, the necessary development approvals? 

It is possible that nothing may happen and you can continue to operate uninhibited. However if your local Council receives a complaint that you are operating without an approval, they just investigate the complaint and will issue a breach notice that you are operating unlawfully in that you do not have a development approval to carry out your activity. (Such complaints will usually come from a neighbour, a competitor or a disgruntled employee). 

What happens if I receive a breach notice? 

You usually have three options:

  1. Cease and desist the activity;
  2. Make application to Council to gain approval for the activity;
  3. Do nothing and risk being required to have to go to Court and/or pay a large fine.

If you decide to make an application, it is strongly recommended that you speak with a professional Town Planning Consultant and engage their services and if you are facing a breach notice do not hesitate to contact us via our Contact page.