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Agricultural Conversions to Residential

March 23, 2019

In 2018 a relatively uncontroversial change to what is commonly referred to as Permitted Development Rights (class Q), was made in respect of the conversion of agricultural buildings to residential use.

 

The changes shows the Government's commitment to help the farming industry bring in additional income through these conversion opportunities.

 

The legislation now allows for development of up to 5 residential units can be:

  1. Up to 3 larger dwelling houses with a maximum cumulative total residential floor-space of 465sq.m; a larger dwelling is between 100sq.m and 465sq.m; or

  2. Up to 5 smaller dwelling houses each with no larger than 100 sq.m of residential floor-space; or

  3. A mix of larger and smaller dwelling houses with a total of no more than 5 dwelling houses, of which no more than 3 may be larger dwelling houses with a maximum cumulative total of 465sq.m residential floor-space.

Different scenarios are provided by Bramhall Town Planning in the table below as an example, the delivery of the number of homes will depend on the configuration of the floor-space that you have to work with:

 

Whilst the change of use is considered Permitted Development, the Government require you to seek ‘Prior Approval’ (PA) this is so the local Planning Authority can just confirm there are no technical details that need further investigation or are going to cause harm to the locality if the scheme is allowed.

 

The PA requirements you must submit confirmation of are:

  1. Transport and highways

  2. Noise impacts

  3. Contamination

  4. Flooding www.gov.uk

  5. Location of siting of building makes it impractical or undesirable to change from agri to C3 resi

  6. The design or external appearance of the building

 

There are a also a number of conditions that must be complied with, these include:

  • Building operations are only permitted where they are reasonably necessary to convert the building to residential.

  • No extensions (this will need to be a planning application).

  • Prior approval can be sought for either the change of use or the change of use with building operations.

  • Agricultural use from 20th March 2013.

  • building operations are only permitted where they are reasonably necessary to convert the building to residential. This means the scheme must clearly be a ‘conversion’ and not a rebuild. A structural report will be helpful to demonstrate a building is structurally sound to accommodate the conversion. Key conversion meets tests if building is structurally sound!

If you have been previously refused prior approval for conversion of agricultural buildings you may wish to revisit your scheme in light of the new legislation.

 

For further advice / information please get in touch.

 

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