New Rules on Residential Barn Conversions

Proposals put forward last year regarding changes to the planning rules to allow farmers to convert barns into residential, school or nursery use without specific planning permission have recently come into force.

The General Permitted Development Order (which is the statutory instrument making the necessary amendments) was laid before Parliament on 13 March and came into force on 6 April.

David Collier, chief rural affairs advisor at the National Farmers Union has said “This is about putting trust in farmers to do the right thing with their buildings”. The reforms present a good opportunity for farmers to make use of their agricultural buildings and to help address the housing shortage, without building on the countryside.

The Order will create new classes of permitted development which allow a change of use from agriculture to residential use, and as a state funded school or a registered nursery. This will effectively allow certain agricultural buildings (satisfying specific size criteria) to be converted to the above mentioned uses without requiring specific planning permission.

Landowners would be wise to take professional advice before using the new provision as the legislation effecting the change includes significant exceptions, limitations and conditions on its application (including size limitations).

Read a full copy of the amended legislation here.

For further information contact a member of our Agricultural/Rural Business team.

Myerson are the premier agricultural solicitors in Cheshire and South Manchester. Our agricultural expert solicitors can advise on all aspects of Agricultural/Rural Business law.

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