“Possibly because we have a reputation for finding solutions and resolving problems, we have had several enquiries recently from applicants who have had their applications for prior approval for Class Q permitted development refused by their Local Planning Authority (LPA)” says Brian Dinnis of Acorn Rural Property Consultants.
“The most common reason for refusal remains that, in the opinion of the LPA, the building operations required to enable the building to function as a dwelling go beyond what is permitted under the Class Q rights. We have discussed that in previous articles and, where that is the reason for refusal, there may well still be a way forward, but it is not the focus of this article. We also come across cases where one or more of the proposed dwellings does not meet the minimum requirements of the Government’s national technical housing standards or does not allow for adequate natural light in all habitable rooms, which was introduced as a condition of Class Q with effect from August 2020. Where these issues have arisen, it can be possible to address them by simply redesigning the proposed scheme”, explains Dinnis.
“Even where what is being proposed in terms of building operations are clearly within the provisions of Class Q, some LPAs have been citing transport and highways impacts or the fact that they consider that the location or siting of a building makes it otherwise impractical or undesirable for the building to change from agricultural use to use as a dwelling as reasons for refusal. Practical issues arising from location and siting can, again, sometimes be resolved by redesigning the scheme. So far as transport and highways impacts are concerned, what is always a relevant and material consideration is that, assuming the agricultural building has an existing access off the public highway, it is not possible to prevent it from being used for agricultural purposes by large and slow moving farm machinery and implements and, where that use has been relatively infrequent, for it to be brought into much more frequent use. In that context, the use of an existing access to service a dwelling may well result in a reduction in transport and highways impacts as compared with the established use to service an agricultural building”, advises Dinnis.
For further information please contact Acorn Rural Property Consultants on 01884 212380