Summer house salon

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amy@athenea

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Hi everyone
I currently have a summer house on my property and I'm looking to extend it slightly and convert into a small salon iv rang the council and just get passed around has any one in the UK already done this and can help in what exactly I need to do to accomplish this
I would be so greatful for any reply
Thank you
 

Trinity

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The problem is each council has differing rules so we probably can't help you specifically. It's a tough time to be trying to get information, covid has put so many staff on furlough, etc. Probably an email to the planning office is your best start. Staff can probably access emails from home easier than phone calls. Good luck, be sure to get everything you've been told in writing, even if it's just you confirming the conversation to them rather than them to you. Unless you have proof of what was said, it can always be reversed or disputed.
 

amy@athenea

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The problem is each council has differing rules so we probably can't help you specifically. It's a tough time to be trying to get information, covid has put so many staff on furlough, etc. Probably an email to the planning office is your best start. Staff can probably access emails from home easier than phone calls. Good luck, be sure to get everything you've been told in writing, even if it's just you confirming the conversation to them rather than them to you. Unless you have proof of what was said, it can always be reversed or disputed.

Ino it is really hard I'm currently sending in a proposal as we speak hopefully I hear back soon thank you for your repl
 

TheDuchess

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There are three questions that are the most important to get answered.

1. Does your local Council require you to hold a license for some or all of the services you will be offering?
2. Will you need planning permission for a Change of Use?
3. Do you need permission for a outdoor sign or lighting displaying your name?

1. Most Councils have a reasonable website. Have a look at the licenses section and see if there are any licenses that might apply to you, for massage for instance or piercing.

2. With planning Consent it’s a bit trickier. There are two use categories which might apply AND the regulations are changing, so the Council may not have clear guidance internally. It may be down to individual planning officers to make the best decision that they can. Be mindful that it is easiest to say “No” than “How can I help” so identify the issues as best you can and try and answer them.

Planning will be concerned about sexual activities - whether the area will attract Kerb crawlers or become a place of exploitation. This is more of a concern in some areas than others. For instance in Bath, even though several “massage parlours” turned out to be brothels trafficking slaves - and two nail bars have also been closed for modern day slavery (one has been prosecuted for trafficking children) there is no oversight, no licensing and no reason for officers to call in to run checks unless a member of the public makes a complaint because they’ve been injured. There don’t seem to be any plans to introduce licenses or change planning regulations - I’m keeping a watchful eye on my local Council website just in case.

The Council also has a duty to manage traffic, noise, smells and other noxious problems which create disturbance in a residential area. I suggest you confirm your trading hours and the total number of hours you will be trading - for instance you might advertise 8-8 7 days a week, but are you going to work flexibly? If so, you might say a maximum of 45 hours a week between the hours of X. If you are not planning on working Sundays, say so. If you are not planning on working after 6pm say so.

I’d be as low key as possible. I’d try to be realistic and not panic the Officers into thinking that you’re going to be an overnight sensation, packed with queuing customers and employing staff, creating lots of parking problems, to-img and fro-ing which disturbances your neighbours and other intrusions like slamming doors and loud conversations. My advice in your application/letter is to try and envision the next 6 months. Be honest, say if you have been forced into this because you’ve lost your job, say if you are assessing demand and feasibility and don’t know if this is going to be permanent. Basically are you bringing the area down in the eyes of the neighbours? So you might say that you are hoping for 2-3 customers a day up to a maximum of 5-6 spaced out at intervals throughout the day. If you have another job and this will be a part-time venture, say so.

If you need ventilation for tanning spray or monomer you might want to think about how you are going to manage the Health and Safety legislation. You can’t just push fumes that are dangerous inside, outside and think “gone”. But for one operator you can probably manage with an air filtration system so nothing toxic is exhausted from your premises, In your letter/contact with Officers, let them know how you are managing your ventilation obligations.

3. There will be information online about sign regulations for your area. A big sign, visible from the street, permanently fixed or illuminated will probably need planning permission. A small sign, to identify your address for the postman and for callers, just with your business name on, will be fine. Think dentist or accountant. There are lots of legal workarounds.

A sign- written blind which you pull down, a sign or poster inside your window, either blu tacked to the glass or a framed sign or blackboard propped up on an easel in your window or porch is ok. A sign you hang over your garden gate and bring in at night is probably ok. The Council can control the display of “advertising” so that the “feel” of a community stays the same. They won’t want to set a precedent so that all your neighbours start sticking signs outside their homes, advertising their small businesses.

In my area I don’t need special consents for beauty, so it’s just like setting up any business from home. I have been very clear with my neighbours and my clients, I’m feeling my way and keeping the use “residential” to comply with planning regulations. Which means most of the time I’m not open! I’m advertising 2 days a week and telling clients that I’ll add more availability when I’m full. I’ve explained that this way I can assess parking issues and my neighbours can let me know if they have any concerns. This will make it much easier when I eventually need to apply for change of use to be able to say that I’ve been trading (say) for 25-30 hours a week without any problems for 2 years.

One last point business Rates. Even one room, used permanently for business purposes should be assessed for business rates and this can create problems when you move. You won’t have to pay anything as you’ll be too small, so I wouldn’t worry for now. Just look into it within the next 18 months.
 

Chriss87

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I think as long as the summer house is atleast 1 meter away from your garden boundary and other buildings and is less then 30% of your total garden you should be OK to have it in your garden. I looked into something similar and with the planned services not being licenced my local authority didn't have any objections to planned use.
 

JanVenus

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I'm in Scotland and we've spent that last 10 months getting my beauty cabin up and running. Often, you don't need planning permission for the cabin/summerhouse build - 90% of the time it will come under permitted development, but you will need to contact your local authority planning department to check if you need council consent to run a business from it. Up here it's all done through the e-planning portal - you apply and pay online and it's forwarded to your local planning department, the local department will get in touch if there are any extra layout plans or information that they need.

I got class 2 business consent for my cabin with no issues - but my neighbours all got a letter asking if they had objections.
 

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