Barn conversion guidance leads to more approvals

Redundant historic barn, Hampshire_275_206

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).

NFU members: Have your say

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  • Posted by: Mervyn JenkinsPosted on: 18/01/2016 17:15:03

    Comment: refused planning although my barn has been used for storing tractors general farming equipment for 60 years plus refused not a agricultural and also refused as I am just a hobby farmer
  • Posted by: Ann bowenPosted on: 06/04/2016 22:44:25

    Comment: took neighbours comments on board and did not take into consideration that we had two statements from farmers that they used the barns and cutting of seasonal silage and hay for their argriculural business. These are argriculural building that have been used as part of a agricultural business, the council did not contact the farmers to confirm and leaned towards the neighbours comments.

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