Permitted Development Success in the North East

14th August 2019

George F. White has successfully achieved consent for change of use of an agricultural building to residential, and also the change of use to storage under the General Permitted Development Order. George F. White’s in house Planning Consultants and Architects work together to ensure our clients aspirations are realised within the confines of the Order whilst making best use of the site.

Using Class Q, a modern agricultural building surrounded by an existing farm house and associated buildings in Northumberland has received approval to change use to a new residential home of less than 465 sqm; whilst elsewhere traditional agricultural buildings have been approved to changed use under Class R to storage and distribution.


Speaking about the projects, Stephanie Linnell said: “In a period of uncertainty, it is important that clients look at their assets and how dependent they are, or how they can capitalise on Government initiatives. Our teams have been working with landowners advising them on how they can take advantage of, and safeguard their assets into the future. Utilising Permitted Development can be a practical means to increase the value of your assets”.


What is Class Q Permitted Development?

Class Q Permitted Development was introduced in 2014 and allows the change of use of agricultural buildings to residential use, subject to the local planning authorities prior approval. In 2018, the Government announced changes to Class Q to support housing supply in rural areas. Class Q now allows the change of use of agricultural buildings to up to three ‘large’ new homes with a combined maximum floor space of 465qm, or up to five ‘smaller’ homes of less than 100sqm each, or a mix of both to a maximum of five homes of which no more than three are ‘large’ homes.

There are many factors to consider within Class Q and this is where professional planning and architectural input is recommended to deal with elements such as the external appearance, highways, noise, contamination and flooding. It’s crucial to ensure the right type of information is submitted without compromising other future development potential. A Class Q development can provide a valuable fall-back position whereby alternative and potentially more valuable development could be secured.


What is Class R Permitted Development?

Class R permitted development allows the change of use of agricultural buildings to a flexible commercial use including; shops, financial and professional services, restaurants and cafes, business, storage and distribution, hotels, and assembly and leisure. Again there are restrictions to be aware of including the size of the proposed development and prior approval is again required from the Local Planning Authority.


High Court Judgement

The High Court has recently ruled that Local Planning Authority’s do not have the power to extend the time period to decide a prior approval where this is prescribed in the General Permitted Development Order. Decisions must be within 56 days of the date when the application was made to the Council.  If the Council do not make their determination within this timescale, the development will have gained a deemed grant of planning permission.

There is a need to carefully consider your development proposals in order to avoid the potential planning pitfalls. This is where George F. White can help. Proceeding in the right way, a change of use under permitted development is an excellent way to enhance the value of agricultural buildings.

If you want to explore the development potential of your site, please contact your local team for a free consultation:

Northumberland and Borders – Stephanie Linnell
Tyne and Wear – Richard Garland
County Durham – Naomi Teasdale
Yorkshire – Kevin Ayrton

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