Agricultural and Rural, Unique Homes and Self Build

Conversion of Agricultural Buildings to residential approved

Discuss your requirements with us

Can I get planning permission for a barn conversion? The principle of converting rural buildings to dwellings has long been deemed to be a sustainable form of development.  The site must have been used solely for an agricultural use.

What does Class Q mean? It is a form of permitted development allowing for the conversion of agricultural buildings with land within their curtilage to residential use for up to a maximum of 5 dwellings. This permitted development right is only applicable when the existing barn or agricultural building is already suitable for conversion to residential use.

Can prior approval be refused? Parker Planning Services can assist with the first steps to apply to your local planning authority, to determine whether prior approval is necessary. The location will be assessed for suitability for change from agricultural use. In addition, applicants will need to check whether the prior approval of the authority will be required as to the design or external appearance of the building.

A recent successful example:  Barn Conversion gains planning approval in West Suffolk.   Parker Planning Services were delighted to gain full Planning approval for our client, after securing a successful Class Q Prior Approval under Class Q of the Town and Country Planning (GPD) Order 2015 for this building.

Changes to the building were approved in the planning application from the plans approved by Class Q.  These included a raised ridge level to enable insulation to be installed on top of the rafters, and a flue included for a wood-burner.  Here the land proposed for garden use was increased from the small curtilage afforded by Class Q.  This then enabled the driveway to be adjusted and a new flint wall to be added along the boundary to match an existing wall.

As with most barn conversions, following our preliminary ecological appraisal, recommendations  ensured that approved nest boxes, barn owl boxes and bat roost boxes will be erected in suitable positions to preserve and enhance biodiversity within the location during and following the conversion.

What surveys or services might I need? Where prior approval is required the team can assist with the addition surveys such as ecology, transport & highways, and flood risk assessments.

Related Case Studies


Change of use approved – Four houses in Bury St Edmunds
Agricultural building to new dwelling – approved in Norfolk
Change of use from Guest House to dwelling granted by East Suffolk Council

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