A leading planning consultancy has welcomed the government’s move to offer more options to convert agricultural buildings into family homes.
Housing Minister Dominic Raab unveiled changes to permitted development rights – which come into force today – in the draft revisions to the NPPF.
Marie Stacey, principal planner with Pegasus Group, said: “The changes that have come into place make this a fantastic time for farmers to expand and diversify.
“The Government has acknowledged the challenging issues faced by farmers and the rural community, and demonstrated that a greater level of flexibility is required in order to address the needs of both.
“The changes to the existing permitted development rights are a direct result of the Rural Planning Review, and will make it easier for farmers to develop their individual businesses, while the wider issue of housing targets and a lack of affordable homes available to rural families will also be addressed.”
The Minister said the changes will help communities make the best use of existing buildings in a bid to meet local housing needs more efficiently, while at the same time ensuring they remain in keeping with the character of the area and safeguard people’s privacy.
Marie Staceyadded: “Briefly, extended permitted development rights include:
More flexibility to convert agricultural buildings to residential properties to boost rural housing needs. In order to meet the specific needs of their own rural community, they will be able to change the use of agricultural building to 3 larger homes (a maximum of up to 465 sq metres), 5 smaller homes (each up to 100 sq metres) or a mixture of both.
In recognition by the Government that modern day farming practices have changed, farmers will be permitted to build new agricultural buildings up to 1,000 sq metres – more than double the size of those currently allowed.
An additional year to the temporary permitted development rights to convert storage and distribution buildings into new homes.”