Class Q permitted development

Barn Conversions & Class Q Permitted Development Planning

Do I Need Planning Permission For a Barn Conversion?

Because of their nature (i.e. barns) they are often located where new buildings are not allowed, for example Green Belt or open countryside so It can be a challenge obtaining planning permission which falls under Class Q Permitted Development.

The buildings themselves may be historic or listed or simply not suitable for change of use to business or residential.

Navigating the planning system can become even complicated when the existing barn is not a traditional stone or brick building. It is imperative to review the specific planning policy of the relevant Local Planning Authority (LPA) carefully. It’s important to understand which buildings are allowed and what supporting information needs to accompany a planning application. Conservation Officers may be involved to review the application, to ensure that the character of the building remains intact.

This section deals with rural barn conversion projects. However, there are many buildings that may be suitable for conversion into homes or businesses. If you are looking to convert an existing building into a home or business please contact us to discuss further.

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What is Class Q Permitted Development?

Can I Convert My Barn into a Dwelling?

Most barn conversions come under permitted development legislation, (specifically Class Q of The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015) in England, so in principle the answer is yes. A full planning application is therefore not normally required, removing one of the biggest obstacles normally encountered in building development.

Class Q is designed to speed up the planning process so that more building, particularly older ones sitting idle, can be brought into domestic use.

Permitted Development – Agricultural Buildings

The legislation allows for physical changes to buildings but not extensions. This includes installation (or replacement) of windows, doors, roof or exterior walls and services. There are further limitations such as the size of the space to be converted, the level of building works required, the location, and the lawful use of the building.

You will therefore need a Prior Approval Application to ensure that the PLA accepts your proposal. This is where all conversions including windows, doors & services can be approved. This process should normally take no longer than 2 months.

The process of prior approval is different to that of seeking planning permission. There are limited opportunities for the Local Planning Authority to prevent the change of use of the building from agricultural to a dwelling house.


Disclaimer: This page provides an introduction only and is not a definitive statement of the law and should therefore not be relied upon. The information above relates to England only. Policies across the rest of the UK may differ. Contact your Local Planning Authority for advice and confirmation before any works are carried out. All images used are for illustrative purposes only. Read the full disclaimer here.

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