• Laura Pohl

Government Reviews Barn Conversion Rights


Last month, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) announced that they are again looking into the permitted development rights for the conversion of agricultural buildings into residential dwellings (Permitted Development under Class Q), also including possible changes to the thresholds of the conversion.

Permitted development rights for the change of use of an agricultural building into residential dwellings were introduced in April 2014 and allow the conversion of up to 450sqm of floorspace and up to three additional homes across one farm. Conversion under the current thresholds does not require planning permission if the site lies outside any designated or protected area.

Key issues such as transport, noise impact and design are still relevant matters and the applications therefore require prior approval from the Council. The government is now reviewing these thresholds and seeking views on whether the rights could better support the delivery of new homes.

‘The current estimated need for rural housing is approx. 11,000 homes per annum, however, class Q applications currently only delivering approx. 2,000 homes’, explains Fenella Collins, head of planning at Lobby Group the Country Land and Business Association.


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