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SleepOvers in Class E workshop/office

Mark Sanders

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I've just bought and improved an old, small, 1400 sq foot, detached Workshop with Office upstairs (in the eves), assumed Class E. Our business uses it for storage, machinery, office space and building prototypes. I have separate home, but sometimes stay over in the office space, on a mattress. It's now 'A-Rated' with insulation and air-conditioning, with a kitchenette downstairs, washing machine, and we are in process of adding shower room upstairs - handy as colleagues often cycle to work. 

Recently a colleague has been staying over (sleeping on the office floor/mattress) to work late and monitor 24hour (but quiet) prototype machinery and also improve the space (eg painting, electrics, etc.). He also has a main residence. His Girlfriend has stayed over a couple of times but again she has a main residence. 

Sometimes we DO need to stayover night as the Computers and CNC machines run (quietly) on  24hour programs and need monitoring, and TBH we don't want to be restricted. 

However,  we've just got a letter from Wealden Planning Enforcement. "Re: Alleged unauthorised change of use from Business to Residential ...xxxxxx (address)"  It looks like someone has reported to the council "people living in workshop" !  Now a planning officer wants to come and visit the unit and speak with me.

What will be the best way to appease the guy and allow us to continue use as above ?   Or even could this use be classed under the new class e  'Permitted Development'  rules ? 

Any pragmatic advice gratefully received 🙏



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Thanks for the message.

I would probably say that this is incidental to the building use.

There is no difference to someone sitting in a chair etc.

They are not using it for residential use, and are working through the night looking after the systems. 

I do not think it is an issue, but if it becomes one and you need our assistance, then please contact us

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