Home Based Businesses

The Town’s Local Planning Policy 2 – Home-based Businesses outlines requirements for operating businesses from homes within the Town. The policy aims to encourage opportunities for appropriately located home-based businesses in the Town, whilst ensuring they are compatible with their surroundings

Why do we need this policy?

Working from home is now a widely accepted practice in today’s workforce. Not only has it become increasingly common, but changes in the traditional organisation of work, coupled with dramatic advances in communications and technology have made it a more feasible and practical avenue for small business and self-employment.

However, the Town also recognises there are limits on the compatibility of some home-based business activities with residential settings. Some degree of control is therefore necessary to protect the character and amenity of residential neighbourhoods and of residents within grouped or multiple dwelling developments. 

What are the different types of home-based businesses covered by the policy?

‘Home-based business’ is an umbrella term used in the policy to refer to any business service or profession that is conducted from a dwelling or land around a dwelling by a resident of that dwelling.

The different types of home-based businesses are defined by Town Planning Scheme No. 1 as follows:

Home Business means a dwelling or land around a dwelling used by an occupier of the dwelling to carry out a business, service or profession if the carrying out of the business, service or profession –

  • does not involve employing more than 2 people who are not members of the occupier’s household; and
  • will not cause injury to or adversely affect the amenity of the neighbourhood; and
  • does not occupy an area greater than 50m2; and 
  • does not involve the retail sale, display or hire of any goods unless the sale, display or hire is done only by means of the Internet; and
  • does not result in traffic difficulties as a result of the inadequacy of parking or an increase in traffic volumes in the neighbourhood; and
  • does not involve the presence, use or calling of a vehicle of more than 4.5 tonnes tare weight; and
  • does not involve the use of an essential service that is greater than the use normally required in the zone in which the dwelling is located

Home Occupation means a dwelling or land around a dwelling used by an occupier of the dwelling to carry out an occupation if the carrying out of the occupation –

  • does not involve employing a person who is not a member of the occupier's household; and
  • will not cause injury to or adversely affect the amenity of the neighbourhood; and
  • does not occupy an area greater than 20m2; and
  • does not involve the display on the premises of a sign with an area exceeding 0.2m2; and
  • does not involve the retail sale, display or hire of any goods unless the sale, display or hire is done only by means of the Internet; and
  • does not-
    1. require a greater number of parking spaces than normally required for a single dwelling; or
    2. result in an increase in traffic volume in the neighbourhood*; and

      *Note: Refer to Local Planning Policy for further details

  • does not involve the presence, use or calling of a vehicle of more than 4.5 tonnes tare weight; and
  • does not include provision for the fuelling, repair or maintenance of motor vehicles; and
  • does not involve the use of an essential service that is greater than the use normally required in the zone in which the dwelling is located.

Home Office means a dwelling used by an occupier of the dwelling to carry out a home occupation if the carrying out of the occupation –

  • is solely within the dwelling; and
  • does not entail clients or customers travelling to and from the dwelling; and
  • does not involve the display of a sign on the premises; and
  • does not require any change to the external appearance of the dwelling.

Home Store means a shop* attached to a dwelling that –

  • has a net lettable area not exceeding 100m2; and
  • is operated by a person residing in the dwelling.

*Note: under Town Planning Scheme No. 1 ‘shop’ means premises other than a bulky goods showroom, a liquor store-large or liquor store-small used to sell goods by retail, to hire goods, or to provide services of a personal nature, including hairdressing or beauty therapy services.

Do I need development approval to operate a home-based business?

That depends on the type of home-based business, and where it will be located.

All proposals for a Home Business and Home Store will require an application for development approval to be submitted and granted. Such proposals will be advertised in accordance with the Council’s Local Planning Policy 37 – Community Consultation on Planning Proposals

 Whilst proposals for a Home Occupation and Home Office are exempt from requiring development approval, in line with the Planning and Development (Local Planning Scheme) Regulations 2015. For written confirmation that your proposal is exempt from development approval and to receive advice of other Council approvals / permits which may be required, it is recommended that a land use – development approval exemption check is submitted. A self assessment form is available here

 

 

Can I place signs on the property to promote my home-based business?

Yes, one sign with maximum area 0.2 m2 and maximum height 1.6 m, not illuminated and associated with the home-based business can be placed on-site. A sign that meet this criteria does not require development approval.

For any additional signs or signs that do not meet the above criteria, development approval and a building permit are required in accordance with the Town’s Local Planning Policy 38 – Signs

Can I run a home-based business from my apartment or unit?

The Town will generally not support a Home Business or Home Store proposed from/in association with a Grouped Dwelling (unit) or Multiple Dwelling (apartment) unless it can be demonstrated that the amenity of the residents of other dwellings within the complex will not be adversely affected by the business. The Town will generally not permit home-based businesses which involve travel of customers/visitors to the site of a Grouped Dwelling or Multiple Dwelling development for this reason.

Please note also that applications of this type which involve the proposed use of common property within a Grouped Dwelling or Multiple Dwelling development (e.g. a driveway to rear unit) require signed consent from the Strata Council/Body Corporate (as applicable) or all owners within the complex in order to be valid applications. 

Do I need to provide parking for my proposal?

Any home-based business that results in customers/visitors attending the site will need to demonstrate how customers will park on the site, or otherwise be serviced by available on-street parking. Applicants should also demonstrate in their submission that an appropriate interval can be maintained between visitors to avoid overlap and minimise parking and traffic generation on site.

For Home Stores, on-site parking (in addition to that required for the dwelling in accordance with the Residential Design Codes) should be provided at the rate specified for a Shop use in accordance with the Council’s Local Planning Policy 23 – Car Parking. 

The use of visitors parking bays provided as part of Grouped Dwelling (unit) or Multiple (apartment) Dwelling developments for customer/visitor parking for the home-based business are generally not considered appropriate.

Can I store a vehicle associated with the home-based business on the premises?

Yes, provided the vehicle is not more than 6 metres long, 2 metres wide and 2.3 metres high. The vehicle must be parked in a dedicated car parking bay on the site (preferably not visible from the street, and is limited to one vehicle in addition to the vehicle(s) of the residents of the dwelling.

Will my neighbours be notified about my intention to operate a home-based business?

Community consultation is required for all home-based businesses which require development approval (i.e. Home Business and Home Store). Such proposals will be advertised in accordance with the Council’s Local Planning Policy 37 – Community Consultation on Planning Proposals

What information do I need to provide with my application for development approval?

Please refer to the Application for Development Approval Checklist – Commercial development 

to ensure all the required information is submitted as part of your application. You should include details of the following in your covering letter to assist Council in their assessment of the application:

  • days and hours of operation;
  • ·number of clients/customers to the site;
  • booking of appointments;
  • car parking;
  • deliveries to the site;
  • advertising signs; and
  • any other matters pertaining to the operation and activities of the particular home-based business. 

Is there any other policy/legislation I need to comply with?

Yes, depending on the nature of the home-based business you are proposing you may be required to comply with the Building Code of Australia, Strata Titles Act 1985, Health Act 1911 and Town of Victoria Park Health Local Law. The Town also recommends landowners/operators seek independent legal advice regarding the use and management of home-based businesses.