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Change of use of Agricultural Buildings to Residential use in England

Mon 30 March 2015

From 6th April 2014, in certain circumstances, agricultural buildings can be granted permitted development rights for change of use into dwellings.  This only applies in England and not to other countries of the UK.


Now, one year on since The Order was introduced, we are seeing various local authorities interpreting The Order in different ways and having varying requirements on what is necessary to enable the permitted development to be granted.  

There is various criteria laid down and some examples forming part of the criteria are set out below.

1)The building had to be part of an established agricultural unit on 20th March 2013.  

2)The maximum area of buildings which can be converted is 450 square metres and up to three dwellings.

3)The footprint of the completed development must not go outside the footprint of the original building.

4)Prior approval will be required for location and siting, design and external appearance, transport and highways, noise, contaminated land and flood risk.

The permitted development rights do not apply to (a)  Listed Buildings; (b) Sites in National Parks; (c) Areas of outstanding natural beauty; (d) Conservation Areas, etc.  

The Order now provides opportunities for modern farm buildings in England to be considered for change of use to residential, in addition to the Planning Policy which has existed for several years, where traditional farm buildings of historical or architectural merit were only considered suitable for conversion (subject to meeting specific criteria).  

An example of a farm building in Worcestershire, where we have obtained permitted development rights, is pictured above.  

From McCartneys LLP experience of handling planning applications for this work over the last twelve months, there has been various interpretations on the implementation of The Order by different local authorities.  If, however, you have a project which you would like to consider in this category of work, or you have any other queries regarding planning matters, please do not hesitate to contact me and I would be pleased to assist you.  

Michael Edwards MRICS FNAEA FCIOB (Kington)


Mobile: 07702 722908

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