The UK Government has announced amendments to permitted development rights (PDRs) which came into effect on the 21st May 2024 in order to make it easier for farmers to strengthen their businesses.

The changes are the result of a consultation undertaken by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities between July and September last year and affect existing PDRs that allow for agricultural development and the use change of agricultural buildings. These relate to:

  • Class Q: Conversions of agricultural buildings to dwellings. 
  • Class R: Changes of use of agricultural buildings to flexible commercial uses.
  • Part 6: Agricultural development.

Class Q

This has been amended to allow the delivery of up to 10 dwellings with a new maximum floor space limit of 1000 m², instead of 5 dwellings with a maximum floorspace of 865 m². Each dwelling is limited to 150 m², however, to have ten new dwellings each one will need to be 100 m² maximum.

Extensions to the rear of a barn or agricultural building have increased up to 4m, on any hard surface present on or before 24th July 2023. Those with existing consents can resubmit to make larger dwellings.

Barns that are no longer used for agricultural purposes and no longer a part of an agricultural unit can now be converted, however, they must not be used for any non-agricultural purpose and must now be able to demonstrate an existing highways access.

Class R

The amendments to Class R allow for further flexibility on size and use, which will include general industrial purposes (the processing raw goods produced on the site), the provision of agricultural training and outdoor sports or recreation.

The former limit of 500 m² has doubled to 1,000 m², however it is important to note this is for the entire agricultural unit.

Agricultural Development

PDRs for agricultural development have also been amended, showing the government recognises the need to provide farmers with more flexibility to erect and develop buildings suited to modern agricultural practices.

For units over 5 ha, the ground area which may be covered by any building using PD rights has increased from 1,000 to 1,500 m². However, for buildings accommodating livestock this will remain at 1000 m². For units less than 5 ha, the limit on the maximum cubic content by which a building may be increased has been raised from 20 to 25%. The limit on the ground area of any building extended has increased from 1,000 to 1,250 m².

To discuss the opportunities that will arise from these changes, please contact Graham Clark on 07469 545650 email graham.clark@berrys.uk.com. 

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