New Barn Conversion- Permitted Development Rights Announced

The government has announced an expansion of the four-year-old permitted development (PD) right that allows the conversion of farm buildings into homes without the need for planning permission. The existing right, set out in class Q, part 3, schedule 2 of the General Permitted Development Order 2015, allows landowners to convert agricultural buildings into a maximum of three homes up to an upper size limit of 450 square metres. However, under new rules set to come into force on Friday applicants can now effectively undertake conversions of almost twice the existing limit.


The amended rights will permit conversions to include up to five new homes and increases the floorspace limit to 465 square metres, which could mean a single property up to that limit. Additionally, barn conversions that deliver five ‘smaller’ homes of no more than 100 square metres, are also permitted. While on the face of things 16 square metres increase still seems restrictive, Landowners are allowed to amalgamate the approaches as long as there are no more than 3 dwellings over 100 square metres and no more than 5 units in total. This creates a situation from which an applicant could create a large dwelling of 465 square metres and four smaller units creating a total of 865 square metres of residential development.


One example of how these new rules could significantly benefit applicants is a situation from which permission is gained for a large barn, up to 465 square metres, then this barn is sold to provide the capital necessary to create 4 smaller units (unto 100 square metres) that can provide instant rental capital. Subsequently, if correctly applied the relaxations in PD rights could provide a useful tool for the agricultural industry in the fight to diversify income streams in the wake of Brexit.


GA Associates have considerable experience navigating the complexities of permitted development so please call today to see how we could help you maximise your assets.