Proposed Submission Local Plan 2006-2028

New Live/Work Units

8.56 A live/work property is one designed from the outset for dual residential and business use. It may be newly built or converted to create a professional workspace where one or more people can run a business. In planning terms, it has a unique status ('sui generis') as a property 'of its own type' incorporating residential and commercial use.

8.57 National guidance is supportive of new working practices such as live/work units[1], however new build live/work units are not supported as evidence from consented units in South Somerset demonstrates that live/work practices do not work in reality and result in residential development by default in locations where permission would not normally be granted. Monitoring of the Council's planning records identifies that between 1997 and 2010 there have been 36 applications for live/work units in the District, and 18 were approved. The 18 approvals were expected to deliver 36 live/work units, however to date only 1 unit has been delivered and is operating as a true live/work unit.

8.58 Locally it is felt that live/work units are not necessary and normal residences with the right configuration (spare bedroom, large garage or large garden shed) provide a more flexible and cheaper work base until such time as the enterprise outgrows its premises. In this case one would normally wish to see it located in more appropriate premises and locations.

Policy EP7: New Build Live/Work Units

New build live/work units will not be allowed in locations where residential development would not normally be permitted.


8.59 Delivery of new live/work units will primarily be through private sector investment although the Council will support proposals in Yeovil, the Market Towns and Rural Centres through its wider economic development function.

8.60 The following delivery bodies will be key in implementing Policy EP7:

  • South Somerset District Council;
  • Developers and Landowners.
Monitoring Indicators Target
Number of live/work units across the District
100% refusal of applications for live/work units in the District.
Increase in the number of businesses registered at private residential properties in the Rural Settlement and Countryside.
1. NPPF March 2012 [back]