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Government announce consultation to review permitted development rights

Government announce consultation to review permitted development rights

The government has announced a consultation to review permitted development rights. The consultation, which ends on September 25, will examine a number of proposed changes to the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2015.

Permitted developmentThe scope of the consultation, headed by the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, will scrutinise a wide range of topics. These include significant changes to Class Q conversion rules (conversions of agricultural buildings to dwelling houses, such as barn conversions ), which can potentially see allowance for Class Q to apply to buildings that are not “solely” in agricultural use, agricultural buildings that no longer form part of an agricultural unit, an increase of the maximum floorspace that can be converted to 1000 square metres, an increase in the maximum number of dwellings from five to ten, and a minimum building size of 37 square metres for Class Q to apply.

The consultation will also review applying Class Q to Article 2(3) land. Under the General Permitted Development Order, this land includes conservation areas, areas of outstanding natural beauty, National Parks, and the Broads and World Heritage Sites, as well areas designated under s.41(3) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Currently, Class Q does not apply to Article 2(3) land; however, the government suggests extending Class Q to such areas would create new homes for local people, allowing communities to “thrive and prosper.”

The government’s review is part of its effort to “further support rural communities through the delivery of more homes.” It is seeking insight into additional flexibilities for converting non-residential buildings in rural areas into dwellings and is particularly interested in the impact that the proposed changes would have on businesses, local planning authorities and communities. Permitted development rights

The consultation also includes an expansion of Class R (conversion of Agricultural buildings to a flexible commercial use) in order to further support rural economies and stimulate rural diversification. This could include allowing Class R to also apply to any building that falls within a “rural use”, such as forestry or equine uses. 

Should these changes come into force, it is likely to ease approval for conversions across the UK.

For further guidance or clarification regarding the government’s PDR consultation, or to speak with one of the knowledgeable team about a planning application that you are considering, reach out to the Stags Planning and Design team at or 01392 439046.