Housing Minister, Dominic Raab, has confirmed a range of amendments to permitted development rights that will allow rural communities to be given more options to convert agricultural buildings into family homes. The changes will come into force on 6th April 2018.

The changes seek to allow the change of use of agricultural buildings to provide up to 5 new homes, of which 3 larger homes must not exceed a total footprint of 465sqm and smaller homes must be no larger than 100 square metres each.

The changes to permitted development go further; Class P (B8 Storage and Distribution to residential) has been extended to 10th June 2019, and works must be completed within 3 years from the prior approval date.

Changes have also been made to PD rights for agricultural buildings. Under Part 6, for agricultural holdings of 5 hectares or more, the changes will enable new buildings of up to 1,000sqm to be erected (compared to the current limit of 465sqm). For holdings less than 5 hectares, existing buildings can be extended up to 1,000 sq m providing the cubic content of the original building would increase by no more than 20%.

MHCLG has also amended guidance on Class Q, reaffirming the position on external structural works, the Hibbit Case’ and the support for conversions not ‘fresh’ build and confirmation that ‘internal works are not generally development”, therefore the provision of a new floor, a mezzanine or upper floors within the overall residential floor space is permitted.

There is now opportunity for some of those that have been refused to reconsider their proposals in light of these changes. For more information please contact James Whilding from Acorus on 01392 873900, james.whilding@acorus.co.uk or acorus.co.uk.