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Amended Permitted Development Rights for Farm Buildings

The Government announced on Tuesday (30th April) their most recent amendments to agricultural permitted development with the release of The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) (Amendment) Order 2024.

Briefly, the new amended rights will be of interest to you if you have agricultural (or former agricultural) buildings and wish to unlock development potential for residential (Class Q) or commercial (Class R) use, as they expand on the current rights and allow for more floorspace to be converted or created. The new rules will come into effect on 21st May 2024, but there are still some exclusions, most notably those buildings that are located within a designated National Landscape (the new name for Areas of Outstanding Beauty, or AONB).

The changes can be summarised as follows:

CLASS Q (Residential):

  • ‘Former’ agricultural buildings are now included within the legislation.
  • All new dwellings are limited to an overall size of 150m2.
  • The new maximum number of dwellings has increased from 5 to 10.
  • The maximum floorspace has increased to 1000m2.
  • Rear single-storey extensions of up to 4m are now allowed.

CLASS R (Commercial):

  • The new maximum floorspace limit has increased from 500m2 to 1000m2.
  • There is an allowance for change of use to agricultural training.
  • An allowance to convert to class F2 (outdoor sport and recreation – great for the pop up barn gyms that we have seen rise in popularity).
  • An allowance to convert to class B2 (general industrial use for processing raw goods produced on site).

These changes obviously offer substantial opportunities for rural businesses through diversification, and revenue. There was talk and some hope that barns would qualify for Class Q within National Landscapes but this has not been included in the latest draft.

If you would like more information and an informal chat about what these changes might mean for your building, please get in touch.

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