Big News! Changes to Planning for Barn Conversions

Table of Contents


    There’s been a shake-up in the world of permitted development rights, particularly for those wishing to convert a redundant agricultural building into a home. Obtaining panning for barn conversions is now more flexible than ever, but it comes with some limitations…

    On April 30th, the government announced a new order: The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development etc.) (England) (Amendment) Order 2024, which is effective from May 21st, 2024. Let’s delve into what this exciting development means for you.

    More Barns Get the Green Light (Kind Of)

    The new order replaces the old Class Q entirely, expanding the scope of agricultural buildings that are eligible for conversion. You can still convert:

    • Buildings currently part of a working farm.
    • Former agricultural buildings no longer in use.

    But, on top of that, the order now allows you to extend the building to enhance the comfort and functionality of your new home. Previously, extensions were not permissible under a Class Q Prior Notice Approval application, and the submission of a Full Planning application was required for this element. Therefore, this is a huge win for those with smaller barns.

    Hold On, There Are Limits…

    Before you get too excited, there is a catch. While the options have expanded, there are some restrictions to keep in mind:

      1. Dwelling and Size Limits: You can now create up to 10 dwellings, with a total floor space of 1,000 square metres. However, gone are the days of supersized barn conversions, as a new limit of 150 sqm per dwelling is introduced.
      2. Extensions: While the order adds the opportunity to extend, only single-storey extensions to the back of the barn, up to 4 meters from existing walls, are permissible. In addition, the extension must sit on a pre-existing hard surface.

    New Rules to Consider

    The process now involves additional hurdles to overcome. When planning your conversion you’ll need to consider:

      1. Access: Most importantly, to be considered the building must have suitable access to a public road and this access must be existing.
      2. Space Standards: You must ensure the final design meets the Nationally Described Space Standards.
      3. Neighbourly Impact: Finally, you need to assess how your conversion will impact neighbouring properties.

    Don’t Worry, There’s A Grace Period

    If you were planning a barn conversion under the old Class Q rules, fear not! There’s a transitional period that allows you to proceed under the previous regulations for the next 12 months. Use this time to submit your application before the new rules take full effect.

    Is This a Good Thing?

    The changes offer more flexibility when applying for planning for barn conversions and opens doors for more dwellings, but size and extension limitations require creative solutions.

    To understand how these changes affect your specific situation and maximize the potential of your dream barn conversion within the new framework, book a free 30-minute, no obligation consultation with us.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *