The Town & Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order (England) 2015 as amended sets out the legislation regarding obtaining prior approval for conversion of agricultural buildings to dwelling houses.

The prior approval procedure requires the Local Authority to be satisfied on the following matters: siting; design; transport; noise; air quality; contamination and flood risk.

The key requirements for obtaining prior approval are:

  • The building must have been used solely for agricultural use on 20 March 2013 or solely as agricultural use when it was last used.
  • Change of use up to a maximum of 450m² cumulative floor space and a maximum of 3 dwellings per agricultural unit.
  • Listed Buildings, Article 1 (5) Land (including AONB), Scheduled Monuments and Sites of Special Scientific Interest do not qualify.
  • The proposed dwelling house must not exceed beyond the footprint or height of the existing agricultural building.
  • The legislation allows building operations comprising the installation or replacement of window doors, roofs or exterior walls and services. The structure must be capable of supporting these works but partial demolition is permitted.

This is a brief overview of Schedule 2 Part 3 Class Q of the development order, however we would strongly recommend a full review of the legislation is undertaken prior to considering an application.

If you think you may have a suitable building, then please get in touch with our Planning Department and we will be happy to carry out a full assessment of how the legislation might apply.

For more information please contact:

Pulborough: Clare Bartlett MRTPI
01798 877555

Tunbridge Wells: Kirsty Castle MRTPI
01892 509283