Permitted Development Rights for Agricultural Buildings

Permitted Development Rights for Agricultural Buildings to change

The Government’s Planning Minister, Nick Boles, has recently released information about his proposals to make substantial changes to permitted development rights for agricultural buildings and rural communities. The intention is that these changes could take effect from April 2014.  As Architects in Cornwall and Devon, we have been looking into the potential impact of these changes for owners and developers of agricultural buildings in the region.

The proposals in the consultation would allow conversions from:

  • agricultural to residential: rural communities could benefit from more affordable homes by making better use of barns and other agricultural buildings.
  • agricultural to new schools and nurseries: supporting working parents in rural communities by allowing for the provision of new schools and nurseries, meaning families can continue to live in their rural community, and protect the countryside by ensuring previously developed land is used first.
  • retail to residential: providing new homes and ensuring better use is made of commercial properties that are no longer economically viable.

The Government believe the changes could lead to increased flexibility within the current planning system and a reduction in red tape in planning departments, at the same time as offering protection of green spaces and the countryside.

The proposals for changing a property use from agricultural to residential cover buildings up 150 square metres, and for agricultural premises of up to 500 square metres to be changed into schools or nurseries.

The Department for Local Governments and Communities’ release also highlights that:

“The scope of the permitted development will be sufficient to provide for the conversion such as new frontage, windows and doors. There will be prior approval in respect of design, the potential impact of the loss of the retail unit on the economic health of the town centre, the need to maintain an adequate provision of essential local services such as post offices, and the potential impact of the change of use on the character of the local area.” 

The potential changes to permitted development rights for agricultural buildings in Cornwall and Devon could present opportunities for rural communities in the region.

Martin Back, Director, said of the proposals:

“At The Bazeley Partnership, our Architects work with many clients seeking to bring dilapidated and redundant agricultural buildings back into use and those trying to create residential properties in areas where there is a shortage of local housing.  We hope that these proposals could have a positive impact in the communities in which we work.”

For more advice and information from an Architect on what this may offer for your property development, please contact us.

19/03/14 – UPDATE: Permitted Development Rights for Agricultural Buildings changes have now been confirmed.  For further information, please see this update: Barn Conversions and Permitted Development Rights

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