[ Top of page ]

We want to see live/work work effectively. Because live/work is a hybrid - a means of providing both housing and work, all too often it fails to fit inside structures that make a clear distinction between the two.

Planning in pratcice often uses zoning to separate residential property and workspace. Different government departments support homes and work separately. There is no planning guidance o­n live/work property, no live/work budget to support it, no agency responsible for live/work - and so o­n

Yet it fits very neatly into a whole range of government, regional and local strategies o­n sustainable development. Live/work property...

  • is all about sustainable use of property
  • makes best use of scare resources (one property not two)
  • reduces carbon by allowing construction/fuelling of one property not two
  • reduces reliance o­n transport = fewer emissions
  • is mixed-use of a single property
  • saves money for start up businesses
  • saves precious time for businesses
  • can create business clusters and networks
  • can help revitalise rural village and market town economies
  • can breathe life into urban centres

We have specific proposals to policy makers that we think will help live/work achieve these things and improve the quality of live/work property too. As the network grows we will listen to members and refine these proposals o­n the basis of our shared growing knowledge.


proposals for Central Government

  • identify a unit and department within government with responsibility for leading policy development o­n live/work and championing best live/work practice 
  • ensure any such unit has ministerial support to link policy o­n live/work across Whitehall – live/work is relevant to BIS,  DEFRA, DCLG, DCMS and more
  • identify appropriate existing BIS/HCA budgets - both housing and employment related pots - that can be used to co-fund a live/work pathfinder budget
  • initiate discussion in the European Community o­n live/work to ensure it develops appropriate policies for live/work and does not have conflicting or negative policies

proposals for the Treasury

  • use the tax system and planning guidance to reward genuine live/work - differentiate between schemes where systems are in place to ensure work use and those that cannot do so
  • linked to the above, recognise the net financial benefit to the Treasury and to the environment that live/work can signify - savings o­n fuel emissions and reduced congestion plus employment creation
  • remove VAT from genuine live/work schemes. Imposing VAT o­n the work space part of a scheme is an incentive to developers to minimise this work element
  • consider extending the tax exempt 'rent a room' scheme principle to home-based business, including live/work provision. Positively encourage live/work and home working, both of which reduce transport use and make best use of scarce property space

proposals for Local Enterprise Partnerships

  • incorporate live/work into workspace investment srategies
  • identify areas - both urban and rural - where live/work cna be piloted
  • work with higher education sector to boost cluster links with live/work schemes - explore ways graduates o­n relevant courses might access live/work and business advice to kick start their business

proposals for local government

  • develop live/work policies in local development frameworks
  • apply residential council tax o­nly to 'guaranteed' live/work schemes
  • require housing associations and developers developing live/work to monitor use of the property. This is in their interest as proven work use will strengthen any future planning applications
  • consider allocating sites with live/work potential in local plans
  • establish connections with potential live/work developers including housing associations so that opportunities are not missed
  • at the planning stage, encourage effective marketing of the scheme to those with a genuine business. Seek expert advice where needed
  • put in place systems to measure the impact of live/work o­n housing, jobs, businesses and transport
  • include policies for live/work in local development plans and supplementary guidance
  • take a positive and flexible approach to live/work when considering designations for employment land and residential areas
  • when making development or planning briefs, include live/work as a particular option for mixed-use development
  • consider carefully conditions imposed at development control stage o­n live/work developments, to ensure they are neither too o­nerous nor unenforceable
  • when considering issues of urban density, consider overall densities when joint employment and residential uses are proposed, rather than thinking o­nly in terms of residential densities, or o­nly employment floorspace

proposals for the HCA

  • further support information sharing o­n live/work
  • publicly support housing associations developing live/work, raise the profile of the sector as an appropriate live/work provider
  • consider ways that grant can support live/work with a more flexible application of TCI (total cost indicator) rules that reflect the different priorities in providing affordable workspace alongside residential

[ Back to Information ] | [ Sections index ] | [ Back to top ]

Contents of this site © Live Work Network from 2003 to 2016.
All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owners.
This web site uses PHP, MySQL and Free Software released under the GNU/GPL license.
Graphic design by Satzooma;content management system by altcom Ltd