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'Fall back' Success for Stags

Fri 15 May 2020

(Above image: Sketch scheme of proposed elevations)

Among all the uncertainty that surrounds us today Stags have recently received planning permission for four new dwellings to replace a range of barns which previously benefitted from Class P prior approval for a change of use from commercial to residential.

 A collaborative effort from our Professional Services team and Planning, Development and Architectural Services teams, who between them have worked tirelessly over the course of the last four years to get this one over the line.

The applicant is a long-standing client of Stags being an arable farmer and large agricultural contractor.  The site on which we got planning for residential development on comprises; a yard  with a range of part dilapidated Dutch barns which were originally constructed to house dairy cattle and have most recently been used as a machinery store, office and workshop to support the farming and contracting. 

The buildings are in a rural location therefore new build residential redevelopment through normal planning routes was impossible.  The campaign began in 2014 following the introduction of Class Q ‘permitted development rights’ to change of use from agricultural to residential use.  Stags submitted an application on behalf of the client but, In this case, because the contracting use was deemed by the Local Planning Authority (LPA) to be non-agricultural, the application was later withdrawn and Stags engaged with the LPA to determine the actual use class of the subject buildings.   More recently Stags persuaded the Local Authority that, if the buildings were not agricultural, they must be eligible for conversion to residential use under Class P relating to commercial storage and distribution buildings.  The conditions for Class P are less onerous than those for Class Q and we were able to secure consent in 2019 for the change of use of the buildings into 5 residential units.

Class P consent had provided the principle of residential development on the site. However given the layout, form and proximity of the existing buildings, it would have proven extremely difficult to optimise the value of the site. 

The next phase was to use the principle of development created by the Class P consent to persuade the local Authority to allow 4 newly designed detached dwellings on the site, utilising the ‘fall back’ argument as a material planning consideration.  ‘Fall back’ in planning terms is where the principle of residential development can be used as a lever to gaining full planning permission.  


(Above image: Proposed site plan)

An initial scheme was refused by the Local Authority on the grounds of it being too ‘suburban’ for the rural setting.

After further consultation with the LPA, Stags set to work coming up with a revised scheme which fits in well within the rural landscape and provides a more sustainable development, through the use of sustainable materials and softer landscaping solutions. Stags worked closely with the LPA to quickly resolve any issues or queries with the proposed scheme. In turn we have recently secured planning consent for four detached homes with generous gardens, thus significantly increasing the value and saleability of the land in question.

For any further information about the fall back argument or if you have any valuation, planning or architectural queries please don’t hesitate to contact your local office or to find out more about our Planning, Design and Architecural Services team visit their homepage. 

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