top of page
  • Alan Coleman

Class Q Clarified

The government has announced changes to Class Q permitted development rights relating to conversion of agricultural buildings to residential units. From 21st May 2024, there will be scope to increase the number of buildings that can potentially be converted, including those that are no longer used for agricultural purposes,  and the number of dwellings that can be created.


Buildings - If the building was erected with full planning permission before 24th July 2023, you may now be able to convert it under Class Q. If the building has been used for other purposes but has remained part of the agricultural unit, you may also now be able to convert it.


If the building existed on or before 24th July 2023 and it was not built or extended using Class A  or Class B agricultural permitted development rights for new or extensions to agricultural buildings, you can now apply for conversion under Class Q. Otherwise, if the agricultural building was built or extended as permitted development, you will need to wait for 10 years before undertaking a Class Q conversion.


Similarly, if the agricultural building has been built or extended using Class A  or Class B  agricultural permitted development rights since 24th July 2023, it will also need to have existed for 10 years on the agricultural unit.


However, if the building existed on or before 24th July 2023 and was at that time part of an agricultural unit, yet since that date it is no longer part of the agricultural unit and has been used for agricultural purposes or has simply been left empty for 10 years you will also now be able apply for conversion under the amended Class Q permitted development rights.


Extensions - As before, you can apply for a change of use of a building from use as an agricultural building to a dwelling. However, there is also now the choice to either include the building operations reasonably necessary to convert the building with the change of use, or for the change of use together with an extension but not both.


The allowance for an extension relates to a single storey extension to the rear of the building by up to 4 metres that does not exceed the eaves height of existing building, the highest point of the existing building roof, or a height of 4 metres above the ground. Furthermore, the extension must not extend beyond a side or principal elevation, and must be on land that was covered by a hard surface which was present on or before 24th July 2023 or if it didn’t exist on that date has existed for at least 10 years.


The extension must be developed at the same time as the change of use. As such, it does not allow for an existing dwelling that has previously been developed under Class Q to be extended.


In cases where an extension is proposed as part of the change of use, the prior approval of the local planning authority will also now be required for the impact of the proposed extension on the amenity of any adjoining premises.


Floorspace & number of dwellings - The maximum amount of space that can be converted has increased to 1,000 m² and up to 10 dwellings are permitted per agricultural holding. However, the maximum size of any dwelling is now reduced to 150 m²


Other Qualifying Criteria - The amendments also allow for protrusions of up to 0.2 metres beyond the external dimensions of the building to accommodate building operations such as the installation of windows, doors, roofs, exterior walls, or water, drainage, electricity, gas or other services.


Finally, the amendments introduce a requirement for conversion to comply with the nationally described space standards regarding minimum room sizes and for the building to have suitable existing access to a public highway.


This is just a brief summary of the main amendments to Class Q permitted development rights. We appreciate that the new regulations may seem confusing! If you require any further information or assistance with the conversion of any agricultural buildings then please contact Tyler Parkes!




Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page