An alternative to Class Q

An alternative to Class Q

“We are receiving an increasing number of enquiries about whether a full planning application for the demolition of agricultural buildings and the construction of new build dwellings may be a better option than going down the Class Q route for the conversion of the existing buildings,” says Brian Dinnis of Acorn Rural Property Consultants.

“As we reported in our advice piece in January 2018, if the fallback position is that the buildings could be converted by using Class Q permitted development rights, that is a material consideration that a local planning authority (LPA) must take into account when considering a planning application for an alternative new build scheme”, explains Dinnis.

Some LPAs actively encourage developers to consider an alternative new build scheme. For example, the current guidance note on Class Q published by Cornwall Council says that, in certain cases, an application for planning permission may result in a better scheme in terms of design and amenity provision, which could be instead of or in addition to an approval under Class Q. Dinnis adds that this approach is in line with recent reports that suggest that, in some cases, the use of permitted development rights to convert offices to residential use is producing sub-standard accommodation with insufficient light and amenity space.

“Although the issues are different when agricultural buildings are converted, we are already dealing with several schemes which will work better, and will also be more easily saleable, as new build schemes rather than conversions, and we are expecting this trend to continue”, concludes Dinnis.

For further information on any rural planning matters please contact Brian Dinnis on 01884 214052 or at briandinnis@acornrpc.co.uk.

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