The latest Government figures for March to June 2015 reveal that local planning authorities approved 60% of all prior approvals for converting agricultural buildings to residential use, compared to 42% approved in the previous quarter.
The main reason for this is that the Government introduced new guidance in March to explain how to interpret the legislation, this is something the NFU lobbied for using our members' experiences.
The 60% figure suggests there is still some work to be done to get more homes on farm. While we are starting to see better results from the changed guidance nationally, some local authorities are still refusing the majority of applications.
The good news is that the Government is looking to review the legislation (known as Class Q permitted development rights) again this autumn and we have the opportunity to again stress how important it is to provide workable legislation.
Please tell us your experience of using Class Q (previously known as Class MB before March) and whether you have actually been able to convert a building on farm. Please also continue to let us know when you haven’t been so lucky.
For members wanting to find out more about converting farm buildings to residential use, please see our NFU Business Guide (members only, please login).