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Conversion of Agricultural Buildings

The Government has announced it will use the Rural Productivity Plan to announce a review of the residential conversion threshold for agricultural buildings reports Jo Maynard of Stags Launceston Office.

Chancellor, George Osborne, appears to be pressing ahead with ongoing reforms intended to boost the economy of rural areas and particularly the delivery of new housing. The publication on 20th August 2015 of the Government’s new 10 point Rural Productivity Plan to increase productivity growth in England’s rural areas, has a number of actions including:

•rural areas fully connected to the wider economy

•a highly skilled rural workforce

•strong conditions for rural business growth

•easier to live and work in rural areas

•greater local control

Full details can be found at: 

The section on “More Housing”, details the intention to “Review the current threshold for agricultural buildings to convert to residential buildings”. The document is positive regarding rural development, and it is anticipated that the current provisions of Class Q of the new Permitted Development Order (2015) relating to the conversion of agricultural buildings to dwellings are to be adjusted, on the basis that they are seen (in Central Government circles and some Local Planning Authorities) as a positive and practical delivery tool for provision of new housing in rural areas. It may be that the current prescription against Class Q in National Parks and AONBs is removed, perhaps requiring proposals in those special areas to provide full detail of design, materials and landscaping. Also, the limit of up to 3 dwellings within 450m2 of existing ground floor space may change.  

For advice on planning matters or conversion of agricultural buildings, please call Jo Maynard of Stags Professional Services on 01566 771808.