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Setting up a home office or working from home

Guidance on whether planning permission is required for setting up a home office

Whether planning permission is required for the use of part of your home (including a shed/outbuilding in your garden) depends on the scale and nature of the use. If you're just using a room to work in, with a phone and computer, with no employees or customers calling at the house, and no deliveries are made to the house, planning permission will not be required. This is because no change of use has occurred, as your house remains primarily a house and the office activity will not cause any problems to your neighbours.

If, however, the office use expands to the extent that other members of staff or customers are arriving at your house on a regular basis, or you receive deliveries to the house, your neighbours could be affected by noise, parking or access issues. If that is the case then the council would take the view that a change of use has occurred, and the use of part of your property as an office will require planning permission. While you would be entitled to apply for planning permission, the council would only support your application if the use could be controlled so that your neighbours' quality of life is not adversely affected.

The council is keen to support growing businesses in West Lothian, so if you find that you're outgrowing your home office, why not look at what advice and assistance the council's business growth team can offer you.