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Updates to Class Q boost for barn owners

— 23 May 2024

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Class Q permitted development has recently been updated to include changes which ease some of the rules around converting buildings in the countryside.

The Class Q legislation was brought in to increase the amount of housing in rural areas, without necessitating new construction, by permitting conversion of certain existing buildings to dwellings.

The legislation has been in force since 2014, and we recently published a blog summarising the criteria for Class Q, which has been updated to include the changes that came into force on 21st May 2024.

The most significant changes are:

  • Includes buildings which are no longer in agricultural use or no longer part of an agricultural unit
  • The date prior to which a building needs have been part of an agricultural unit is now 24th July 2023
  • The building to have existing access to a public highway
  • Maximum number of homes increased from 5 to 10
  • Increase in total development floorspace to maximum of 1000m2
  • Individual homes reduced to a maximum of 150m2 each (previously 465m2)
  • Reasonably necessary alterations to the building to enable it to function as a dwelling may now extend up to 0.2m from the existing building
  • Extensions are now allowed to the rear, but must be on existing hard standing; be no taller than 4m and no higher than the eaves of the existing building; and no wider than the existing building
  • Development to meet national space standards

The amendments are set out in full the government’s Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2024

These changes are a positive change for landowners and developers who are considering a Class Q barn conversion.

Class Q permitted development does require prior approval from the Local Planning Authority (LPA) to ensure it meets the requirements before development can commence. It can be tricky navigating the legislation, and if you are unsure of how these changes will affect your project do get in touch for a chat with one of our Architects.

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