Planning Permission for a Minicab or Private Hire office

Recent changes at the Transport for London private hire taxi operator licensing now require operators to confirm their office has the correct planning permission in place.

3/18/20242 min read

black 5-door hatchback on road
black 5-door hatchback on road

When applying for a licence from Transport for London to operate as a private-hire firm, you are now required to demonstrate that you premises comply with the relevant planning regulations. But how can this be done? Read our post below to find out more?

Is planning permission required for a mini-cab or private-hire taxi office?

Traditional taxi-offices where clients can visit the premises to book a taxi and be picked up by drivers are considered to be Sui Generis in planning terms. This use has very limited permitted development rights, and as such if you are looking to open a traditional taxi-office you are likely to require planning permission.

However, at Cedar Planning we recognise that the business requirements for private-hire and taxi firms has changed in recent years. Many operators now do not require a formal office, with bookings taken and organised over the internet, an app or by phone. As such, some operators are choosing to run their private-hire firm from their own home. But does this require planning permission?

Much will depend on how the building will be used. If you plan on using a single room in your home as a home office to operate a taxi office from, which will just be used by yourself, then it is unlikely that full planning permission will be required. On the other hand, if you are looking to employ several people, all of which will be coming to your home to take calls and manage bookings across different rooms, then this is likely to result in a change of use of the building, which is likely to require planning permission.

Furthermore, if drivers come and go from your home to go and pick up customers, or customers come to your home, then it is highly likely that planning permission is required.

What to do if planning permission is NOT required?

If your home continues to operate as a home, rather than a business location, planning permission may not be required. If this is the case, then you can submit a Certificate of Lawfulness application to your Council. This will confirm that your proposed use complies with the relevant planning regulations, and can act as evidence to the Transport for London that you are operating in line with the relevant planning permission.

How can Cedar Planning help you?

At Cedar Planning we offer a no-fuss service for clients seeking to secure the relevant planning permission or Certificate of Lawfulness for their minicab or private hire taxi business. We know that time is of the essence for many new companies looking to secure a private hire operator license from Transport for London, and we will work quickly and accurately to meet your deadlines. We also understand the expense in setting up a new minicab or private hire taxi business, and as such we offer highly competitive quotes.

Contact us today to receive a fixed-fee, no obligation quote. For our wide range of planning services click here.