New planning guidance on Class Q residential barn conversions

New planning guidance on Class Q residential barn conversions

“The Government has revised its planning practice guidance (PPG) on building works that are allowed under the Class Q permitted development right for the residential change of use of agricultural buildings.  In addition to benefiting those with projects in the pipeline, the new guidance provides the opportunity to revisit cases that were refused in the past where structural works were an issue”, says Brian Dinnis of Acorn Rural Property Consultants.

Dinnis explains, “Class Q has always allowed the installation or replacement of windows, doors, roofs and exterior walls, and water, drainage, electricity, gas or other services to the extent reasonably necessary for a building to function as a dwelling.  In addition, it permits partial demolition to the extent reasonably necessary to carry out these works.  There is also nothing in the legislative text to suggest that it excludes structural works as part of these building operations.

However, the original PPG advised that it was not the intention of Class Q to include the construction of new structural elements.  As a result, structural works have been a sticking point for many applications, even when they were part of works that Class Q permits, and numerous applications involving structural works for internal walls, floors and upper floors have been refused.”

“The Government has now deleted its guidance that said it was not the intention of the Class Q to include the construction of new structural elements.  The PPG now advises that it is not the intention of Class Q to allow rebuilding work which would go beyond what is reasonably necessary for the conversion of the building to residential use and, therefore, it is only where the existing building is already suitable for conversion to residential use that the building would be considered to have the permitted development right”, says Dinnis.  “The new guidance also makes it clear that internal works are not generally treated as development and states that Class Q does not prohibit internal structural works including those to allow for a floor, internal walls or the insertion of a mezzanine or upper floors”, he adds.  “Class Q applications that were refused because they involved structural works should be reviewed in light of this new guidance”, concludes Dinnis.

If you would like further information on the Class Q permitted development right and the revised PPG, please contact Brian Dinnis at Acorn Rural Property Consultants on 01884 214052 or briandinnis@acornrpc.co.uk.

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