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2015: The Government has clarified the rules on converting agricultural buildings into homes using permitted development rights with updated guidance.

Barn conversions: guidance upldated

The guidance, published yesterday, states that agricultural buildings can be converted to a flexible, educational or residential use under permitted development rights.

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It sets out the use classes that would be classed as flexible use, and the educational developments that would be allowed.The guidance also explains the residential uses that agricultural buildings can be converted to under the rights and sets out the building works that are allowed, limitations and conditions to the change to residential use, and defines what is meant by “impractical or undesirable” for the change to residential use.Planning reported earlier this year that councils were refusing over half of agricultural-to-residential conversion applications.

Rural land and business body the CLA welcomed the refreshed guidance. President Henry Robinson said: “Since the agricultural buildings permitted development rights came into force there has been significant demand from farmers and landowners to convert buildings on their land, but they have found themselves frustrated by inconsistent and unduly restrictive decisions to refuse conversions across the country.

“That is why we have been determined to get ministers to clarify the law so that all involved know where they stand when it comes to implementing the regulations. We are optimistic that this guidance will go a significant way to addressing our concerns.

“We need new homes in our countryside and the conversion of agricultural buildings will play an important part in meeting that need.”

Read the original article here