Agricultural to residential change of use time limits
Government introduces new General Permitted Development Order

Agricultural to residential change of use time limits

“Last month we talked about new national planning guidance that clarified important points of detail in the application of the agricultural to residential change of use permitted development rights (PDRs) by Local Planning Authorities. Alongside the planning guidance, the Government also introduced the new General Permitted Development Order (GPDO) which came into force on 15 April 2015,” says Brian Dinnis of Acorn Rural Property Consultants.

Dinnis explains that the new GPDO has revoked and replaced the much amended GPDO 1995 and is in part a consolidation exercise. It also includes a number of changes. One of the changes that will have significant commercial consequences is a change to the time limits applying to change of use of agricultural buildings to dwellings.

Prior to 15 April 2015, the GPDO stated that the development had to begin within three years of the date of the approval. “This is in line with all standard planning consents and meant that as long as there had been a “material start” to the development then the planning consent would have been crystallised and there would then be no time limit to completing it”, says Dinnis.

“Things are very different after 15 April 2015 because the new GPDO says that development must be completed within a period of three years from the approval date”, continues Dinnis. “This is a completely different ball game and, although as a matter of planning policy it can be seen as providing an incentive to obtain the consent and complete the development, it will be a major issue for farmers who thought that could use the GPDO to obtain consent and carry out the conversion works in their own time as and when funds were available or where planning consent was seen as a way to add value with a view to a future sale at a later date”, adds Dinnis. “Acorn Rural Property Consultants has a number of clients where this change will be a relevant issue and I am sure that we will be looking at solutions with them over the coming months”, concludes Dinnis.

For further advice on agricultural to residential change of use PDRs and the new guidance, please contact Brian Dinnis at Acorn Rural Property Consultants on 01884 214052 or briandinnis@acornrpc.co.uk.

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