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Home Activities

Can I operate a business from home?

Yes, in some circumstances you can run a small-scale business from home, however, it must comply with strict guidelines set out in the Development Regulations 2008.  Running a business from home is known as a 'home activity'.

What is a home activity?

The Regulations define a 'home activity' as a business run by the person/resident at the proposed site and that business does not detrimentally affect the amenity of the area.  The home activity must not involve or require any of the following:
  • have more than one person, who doesn’t reside at the site, helping with the business

  • use more than 30 square metres of floor space, either temporarily or permanently

  • use more power, water, and other public utility services than would ordinarily be used by adjoining homes in the area

  • display goods in a window, around the home or its curtilage

  • use a vehicle weighing more than three tonne tare (3000 kg).

You should also be aware that your business must not place any detrimental effects on the area at any time.  This may be referred to as the 'nuisance' factor.  Obviously this can be a subjective test and has the potential to create friction if the impact of the activity is felt beyond the boundaries of your home.

What types of activity may cause a problem?

Businesses involved in manufacturing or the production of something may cause problems because of their operations and the processes and tools used,  If anyone considers the business to be affecting the amenity of the area, Council has the power to investigate the situation to ensure the business is operating within the home activity criteria.  If the 'nuisance' factor is apparent, then you may have a problem continuing your business, unless you obtain development approval.
The Council often receives complaints about businesses that:
  • create repeated, prolonged or loud noise (sometimes requiring intervention by the Environment Protection Authority);

  • interfere with television or radio reception;

  • produces smoke, smells, fumes, dust etc;

  • increase traffic in the street or congestion caused by vehicle or customer parking and general movement; or

  • are carried out at times outside of normal working hours.
Mechanical repairs, panel beating, spray painting and activities that use noisy machinery, have materials delivered regularly or have a constant turnover of customers are generally not considered to fit within the definition of a home activity.

Food Activities that involve food (either manufacture, preparation, transportation or storage) are required to check with Councils Environmental Services department under the Food Act and associated regulations and standards for compliance.

What happens if the business doesn't comply?

If you do not comply with any of the criteria set out for the operation of a home business, you will need to make a development application to the Council to be assessed against the Development Plan.  Council's approval is not assured and the application may be placed on public notification and/or referred to other relevant agencies.

Further Information

For further information and to ensure that you comply before commencing your home activities business