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The conversion of agricultural buildings for residential use became ‘Permitted Development’ in the new General Permitted Development Order which came into force on 6th April. The change of use from ‘barn’ to residential no longer requires planning permission, provided that:

– The building is part of an ‘established agricultural unit’
– The project creates no more than three dwellings totaling up to 450sqm
– The building is not listed

‘Partial demolition’ is allowed for the creation of new windows, doors, partitions and services connections, but the footprint of the building may not be extended. As always, however, there is plenty of ‘small print’, including a number of provisions giving the Local Planning Authority grounds to object (traffic/highways, flood risk, noise, etc).

‘In general terms the GPDO is national secondary legislation and takes precedence over local policy – but where it does conflict you can anticipate a negative response from the Local Planning Authority’, explains planning consultant Mike Haslam, who is already testing the new PD rights in a project in Waveney.

Read the new provisions here (on pages 8 and 9).


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