Permitted Development Rights (also known as Class Q conversions) came into effect in April 2014, providing farmers and landowners with a fantastic opportunity as they allowed more flexibility in the planning world to change the use of agricultural buildings to dwellings. A couple of years later and with a few success stories under our belt, we share with you our experience and thoughts.
Due to our marketing exercises, we have received strong levels of interest from farmers and landowners seeking to explore the potential of their buildings. Our experience to date has revealed that Class Q applications are notoriously difficult to advise on with certainty. This is largely due to the fact that different local planning authorities are taking a hugely inconsistent approach to their consideration. What may appear a given often isn’t whilst what may appear to have little chance may in fact hold strong potential. Structural integrity seems to be an ongoing issue – is the barn readily convertible? This is an area where we can provide notable expertise due to our mix of in-house disciplines that include a large surveying team specialising in building condition reports.
Class Q applications therefore represent a risk – it is important that this is acknowledged from the outset. But they also pose a significant opportunity. For the sake of a small level of investment at application stage the potential exists to turn even the most unsightly of buildings into a residential property of notable value.
Our learning, and indeed the learning of the planning industry as a whole, continues on this matter. What is becoming more apparent than ever is the subjective and often circumstantial nature of each and every Class Q proposal.What we can guarantee is a creative and informed approach to Class Q applications to ensure that you stand the best possible chance of gaining permission. As our learning continues so does our eagerness to talk about your own proposals.
If you are considering changing the use of your agricultural buildings but are unsure where to begin, please call one of our planning experts who can offer their expertise and advice.
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