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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 22386
Experience:  PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
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I am currently running a business from a rented commercial

Customer Question

I am currently running a business from a rented commercial premises in London. I use the premises for a combination of running cookery workshops and also as an office. The premises is registered by the council as 'Offices' and I'm concerned that I am not permitted to run the food workshops from the premises. I do have health and safety/ food hygiene certificates in place. When I spoke to the planning officer at the council he said that it is ok provided that I am using the premises as predominantly as an office which I am as the office is in use 50 hours per week and the workshops about 30 hours per week. I think I need the advice from a ' planning lawyer' on this one?! Can someone please advise. I am looking to sell the business and can't do so until I get this one sorted ! Thanks, Anne
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 5 months ago.

Do you have this in writing from the local authority?

Have you asked?

Expert:  Stuart J replied 5 months ago.

The situation with regard to planning permission is quite simple. Provided any use is ancillary to the main use then there is no need for consent for the ancillary use.

However our opinion in respect of that, and any other lawyers opinion in respect of that is likely to be useless as far as any buyer is concerned. They will not want an opinion from your lawyer or their own, they will want it from the horses mouth, from the local authority. Hence, you are going to need to get the local authority to commit in writing to say that there is no problem with you doing what you are doing.

Ultimately, it is the local authority that brings enforcement proceedings and that is why the decision must come from the local authority. The last thing any buyer would want is to buy the property based upon your own say-so that there is no requirement for planning consent for this, only to find out later on that there is a problem and that the advice you received and you gave them was flawed.

With regard to advice, do remember that litigation requires at least 2 parties and neither of them goes to court expecting to lose.

Nonetheless, one of them does lose even though they have both been told by their respective legal advisers that they have a good chance of success.

That is the situation that you are in, whilst we may give you an opinion which is that there is no problem with this, the local authorities law use may be of a different opinion and that is why you need it directly from them in writing. You don’t need to apply for planning permission, a simple letter will suffice although the local authority being the local authority will probably want you to make an application for a certificate of lawful use for which there is, surprise surprise, a fee!

Please don’t forget to use the rating service to rate my answer service positively otherwise I get no credit for my time.

It does not cost you anything but it helped me greatly.

You may think thread closes after rating, but it does not, it remains open and if you want to ask for clarification of anything, we are still able to exchange emails.

Kind regards.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Hi, Many thanks for the answer - very useful ! I am trying to rate you but it doesn't seem to accept the review on my computer ! I trust you have received the fee for my question ? ! Best, Hannah
Expert:  Stuart J replied 4 months ago.

I haven’t yet but that’s my fault. I needed to click another button which I hadn’t done. You should be able to do it now and then when you rate it, I will get paid. Thank you. Kind regards

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