Class Q (agricultural buildings to dwellings) and how it is interpreted has caused many problems for applicants and planning departments alike. One key appeal decision that has been considered by the High Court is the case of Hibbit v Secretary of State for Communities (SoS) and Local Government (2016). This centred on whether the conversion of a steel sheet cladded building was a fresh building or a conversion. The SoS concluded that the extensive works required to make the building habitable was tantamount to a re-build or fresh build which is not allowed under Class Q. This means that planning departments may now take a stricter view on what constitutes a conversion and early dialogue through pre-application submissions is highly recommended.
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