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Class R – Agricultural Buildings to Commercial Use

Wed 29 December 2021

Thinking of converting your agricultural buildings? Have you considered Class R?

Class R was introduced in April 2015 under the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2015. Class R permits the conversion of agricultural buildings, including land within the curtilage, to commercial uses, subject to certain conditions and limitations. The potential commercial options include farm shops, cafes, storage and hotels.

Class R varies significantly from the better-known Class Q (agricultural buildings to residential dwellings). For example, Class R development rights are still available within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Conservation Area and National Parks. However, it should be noted that an important distinction among Class R and Class Q is that Class R only permits a change of use, not operational development. Often, a subsequent application for operational development will be required to convert the building for the commercial use approved by Class R.

A number of the key limitations are as follows:

  • The subject building needs to have been solely in agricultural use on the 3rd July 2012 (or when it was last in use).
  • If brought into use after 3rd July 2012, it must have been maintained in that use for a minimum of 10 years.
  • The total cumulative floor area of the existing building(s) must not exceed 500m².
  • The building(s) must not be a scheduled monument or listed.

If you might have a suitable building ready for conversion, please contact Stags Professional Services Department on 01566 771808 to find out more.

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