Barn Conversions Using Permitted Development Rights - Is it Really as Easy as it Sounds?

Thursday 16th July 2015

Author: Stuart Leaver MRICS FAAV


When the amendments to the Town & country Planning Act (General Permitted Development Order) came in to force in 2014 (PD Rights), there was a sharp intake of breath amongst the Local Planning Authorities in England. Planning officers across the land began to wonder what Central Government had done and expected floods of unjustifiable applications to come through their doors.


In reality, although having relaxed the rules on permitted development, when applying for such conversions, it’s not quite as simple as first thought. Recent additional formalisation of the legislation under the (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 has brought in the rules under development class Q and tightens the legislation.


Practically speaking, although it appears a simple process, Leavers Rural would always recommend speaking us as land and property professionals before deciding whether to apply under PD for the conversion.


Every barn conversion project will be different, and a specialist knowledge is required to ensure that the application in compiled and worded correctly. In certain circumstances it may be advisable to work towards obtaining full planning permission rather than using the new PD rights.


The PD rights are useful for buildings which will require a ‘minimal touch’ conversion where you have a sound structure to work with. Where it’s questionable whether the structure is capable of conversion, there is still potential for conversion using the new rights, but this is where strategy and professional advice is key to ensure you approach the project correctly.


Leavers Rural has the skills, professional knowledge and experience to provide the relevant advice on the design solution for the building type, and advice on how highways, flooding and ecology will have an impact upon any potential application.


Leavers Rural would be happy to chat over any proposals with you, and visit your property for an informal no obligation meeting to look over your project and any other rural matters you may need our professional assistance with. Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information.



Leavers Rural Surveyors is the trading name of Leavers Rural Surveyors Ltd. Registered in England, Company No. 08681412. Registered Office: The Farm Office, White House Farm, Brookfield Road, Churchdown, Gloucestershire, GL3 2PE. Regulated by the RICS.