From 6 April 2014 it has been possible to convert redundant agricultural buildings with a floor space of up to 450 square metres (4,800 square feet) into a maximum of three residential homes using new Permitted Development rights and therefore without the need for planning permission.
Anyone can take advantage of these new rules as long as the building was in agricultural use on 20 March 2013 – this does not mean that the applicant has to be employed in agriculture as the condition is limited to the building. The new rules also only apply to conversion and not to replacement residences.
Farmers or developers will still need to gain ‘prior approval’ from the Council, but unlike planning permission this will be a cheaper and easier process and Councils will not be able to reject the principle of conversion. Prior approval will assess the significant impact on the local area such as transport, noise, and flood risk, and must be obtained before any building work starts. Local authorities will still be able to demand a full planning application if they believe that the proposals will lead to significant impacts. The new Permitted Development right only covers the change of use so Building Control will still need to approve construction of the new houses.
These rules will not apply to properties in a National Park, Conservation Area, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, World Heritage Site or Site of Special Scientific Interest, or Military Explosive area or Listed Buildings. Qualifying criteria is no equestrian use or let out for storage or other non agricultural uses will not qualify.
We are coming across this type of land all the time, if you are interested please get in touch: Laura@greengrassproperty.co.uk 020 3637 0260