England: The Government announced last week that they are extending Permitted Development rights for change of use of agricultural and storage buildings to residential dwellings with amended regulations which will come into force on 6th April 2018.

One of the key changes is to permitted development rights for barn conversions (change of use of agricultural buildings to dwellinghouses (Use Class C3)). Previously there has been a cumulative limit of 3 dwellinghouses created under Class Q of the General Permitted Development Order and a cumulative floorspace limit of 450 sqm changing use. The amendment now allows a maximum of 5 units to be created (including any previously created under Class Q). The floorspace limitation has changed as well. No dwellings may be created larger than 465 sqm at all. Dwellings between 100-465 sqm are deemed “larger dwellinghouses” and you can create no more than 3 of these on each agricultural unit and the cumulative floorspace changing to such larger dwellings cannot exceed 465 sqm. Smaller dwellings under 100 sqm are only restricted by the upper limit of 5 units.

It’s quite confusing as worded (of course) but if you had the buildings available it seems one could convert a combination of 1 x <465 sqm “larger dwelling” together with 4 x <100sqm “smaller dwellings” giving a theoretical upper limit to change of use floorpsace available of 865 sqm. In reality the buildings available for conversion and any previous changes of use under Class Q will provide the limits on what can be achieved.

The Government have also announced a one-year extension to temporary PD rights allowing the conversion of storage and distribution uses (Use Class B8) to housing (Use Class C3) under Class P to include any cases where prior approval has been gained before 10 June 2019. The change of use must thereafter be completed within 3 years of the prior approval date.

Furthermore, the Government have seen fit to alter the regulations covering changes of use from storage and distribution (Use Classs B8) or light industrial Use Class B1(c)) to residential (Use Class C3) (Class P and PA permitted development) to remove the potential to convert only part of a building. Now, only the whole building can be converted – presumably for residential amenity reasons.

Permitted development rights are becoming increasingly complicated. If you have a site with the potential for a change of use to residential units or any other uses, we offer a FREE site appraisal carried out by a member of the professional team who can confirm your Permitted Development options.Give us a ring on 01202 585524 or email info@puretownplanning.co.uk and we would be happy to talk through the implications of the new regulations.