Government Change Planning Laws for Farm Buildings

New changes to Permitted Development Rights for Agricultural buildings came into action this month covering Class Q and Class R developments on certain farms.


Class Q and Class R permitted development rights, introduced under the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015, streamline the repurposing of agricultural buildings, enhancing rural development without full planning applications.


Class Q allows the conversion of agricultural buildings to residential dwellings. The changes include the opportunity to convert outlying buildings which has previously been against the rules and the limits on numbers of dwellings has increased from 5 to 10.  However, the permitted floor space of each unit has been decreased, trying to promote the development of more affordable smaller units. 


Class R permits conversion of agricultural buildings to flexible commercial uses, including shops, offices, restaurants, and storage and now sport and recreational uses , with a floor space limit increase from 500 to 1000 square metres.


In both cases landowners must seek prior approval from the planning authority before development can occur.  Prior approval in permitted development is a process where landowners must seek confirmation from the local planning authority that specified impacts (e.g., transport, noise, contamination, flooding, structural validity) are acceptable before proceeding. It ensures developments meet local regulations and standards while streamlining certain building conversions and changes of use.


Here at Geo-Integrity we have completed many investigations to examine the existing foundations and ground conditions where a structural approval has been seeked.  This involves exposing the existing foundations, putting down boreholes adjacent to them and testing the soil profile.


In addition, changes in land use, for example from chemical storage barn to residential, introduces more sensitive end users to the site. This is particularly important if the development site has had a potentially contaminative past land use as there may be increased risks to those living or working on the site from land contamination. In line with the National Planning Policy Framework, where a site is affected by contamination, responsibility for securing safe development and ensuring that the site is suitable for use rests with the developer and/or landowner.


If you are considering a Permitted Development give us a call on 01280 816409 or email us to see if we can help you.  You are likely to require at least a Phase 1 Contaminated Land Desk Study Report or Geotechnical Investigation or both

Write a comment

Comments: 0