Jill Scrivener and Barry Davies, of the British Institute of Agricultural Consultants’ rural planning sector, highlight aspects of permitted development rights (PDRs) that farmers may encounter.
A much-forgotten provision allowing change of use from an agricultural building to a flexible commercial use – for example, shops, financial and professional services, restaurants/cafes, business, storage or distribution, hotels or assembly and leisure:
- The building can be within a National Park, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty or green belt
- There are no restrictions on the structure of the building incorporated within Class R which allows for the change of use, but a full planning application is needed for the works to convert to the new use
- The building has to be used solely for an agricultural use as part of an established agricultural unit on 3 July 2012
- You can still benefit from Class R if you have implemented your Part 6 Agricultural Development PDRs since 3 July 2012
- The cumulative floor space of the building must not exceed 500sq m.
- The building must not be listed or a scheduled monument.
The opportunity to convert an agricultural building to a dwelling house (certain restrictions apply).
Many local planning authorities are taking a stringent line on these applications in light of the recent High Court “Hibbitt” case, which effectively challenged the change of use as to what amounted to a “conversion” or a “rebuild” as part of the permitted development.
Farmers with buildings that have permission for B1 office use they may have PDRs to change use to a residential dwelling house.
BIAC’s national rural planning conference is on 5 October at the Williams Conference Centre, Oxfordshire. For more information telephone 01275 375 559