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The future is bright for those hoping to sell agricultural barns

Wed 7 November 2018

The future is bright for those hoping to sell agricultural barns, judging by a recent example in North Devon. 

The adoption of the North Devon and Torridge Local Plan is a chance to add value with rural development, says Stags Planning department. For owners of rural property, the news that the North Devon and Torridge Local Plan has been adopted is an exciting opportunity, says Alister Smith, Stags Head of Planning Services.

“The plan now introduces changes to council planning policies with the aim of delivering the housing and infrastructure required in northern Devon up to the year 2031,” says Alister. 

The Plan is now an up-to-date document that represents new opportunities for development especially in rural areas. Significantly, the possibility of getting planning permission for the residential re-use of rural buildings has increased considerably. What is more, the criteria for development in recognised rural settlements are now more supportive, too.”  

Interest from buyers in purchasing barns with planning permission in North Devon is strong, says Simon Forman, who runs Stags Barnstaple. “For example, we recently sold a modern detached barn with consent for conversion into an individual five bedroom dwelling off a guide price of £350,000,” he says. “The barn is in a secluded rural setting yet within easy access of Roundswell and came with just over six acres of land.”
Within the previous North Devon Local Plan, residential conversions of suitable rural buildings were only acceptable in a limited number of circumstances. However, the new policies are much more supportive of residential re-use of disused and redundant buildings, Alister explains. “There are still criteria to be met when putting in a planning application, but they are much more supportive,” he says. 

“Under the new plan, conversions need to do no harm to the qualities of the building. They also have to respect the setting and the wider rural character of the building and be achieved without substantive building work.” Applications also need to meet other relevant planning considerations, such as addressing any impacts on highways and any nature conservation interest. 

As well as the increased council support for converting barns and rural buildings, the new Local Plan also opens up the possibility for new development within villages and rural settlements. “If a settlement has at least one prescribed service or community facility, such as a church, school or shop, there is now potential for development of an appropriate scale and location to meet the specific housing needs of that community,” says Alister. 

These new policies present the opportunity for appropriate rural development which is aimed at boosting the supply of housing in North Devon and Torridge. “Here at Stags Planning department, we are able to help with planning applications and any queries about how these changes could affect your development ambitions. To discuss this or any other planning matter, please do get in touch,” says Alister.

For more information and advice, contact your local Stags Planning Consultant today.

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