Monday, July 15, 2019

More options to convert farm buildings into homes

April 3, 2018 by  
Filed under Property

A relaxation of planning rules is set to give farmers more options when it comes to converting agricultural buildings into family homes.

Changes to permitted development rights mean up to five new homes can now be created from existing agricultural buildings on a farm. Currently, only a maximum of three homes are permitted. The rule changes come into effect from 6 April.

Housing minister Dominic Raab said the change in regulation would help meet local housing needs. They would rural help communities make the best use of existing buildings to help meet local housing needs more efficiently, he added.

Several hundred new homes each year are created through conversions of agricultural buildings. The government said the rule change would boost numbers further while ensuring homes remain in keeping with the character of a given local area.

The amended development right for the change of use of agricultural buildings to provide up to 5 new homes will allow for:

• up to three larger homes within a maximum of 465m2 or

• up to five smaller homes each no larger than 100m2 or

• a mix of both, within a total of no more than 5 homes, of which up to 3 may be larger homes

The government says the new measures will also help farmers adopt the latest innovations in modern farming practices by increasing the size limit of new agricultural buildings on larger farms from 465m2 to 1,000m2.

Mr Raab said: “We need to be more creative if we are to meet the housing needs of rural communities. That’s why I’m changing planning rules so rural communities have more flexibility on how best to use existing buildings to deliver more much needed homes for families.”

Permitted development rights are a national grant of planning permission which allow certain building works and changes of use without having to make a planning application. The rights are subject to conditions and limitations to control impact and to protect local amenity.

Applicants will have a further year – until 10 June 2019 – in which to benefit from the temporary permitted development right for the change of use of buildings used for storage and distribution to residential use.

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