On Monday 5 March, Dominic Raab, the Housing Minister, announced changes to permitted development rights which will allow up to five new homes to be built from an existing agricultural building, which represents a change from the current limit of three.
The changes will allow for:
- Up to three larger homes with a maximum of 465 square metres (an increase of 15 square metres); or
- Up to five smaller homes, each no larger than 100 square metres; or
- A mix of both, within a total number of no more than five homes, of which no more than three may be larger homes.
It is hoped that this change will boost the number of new homes created through the conversion of agricultural buildings and help meet local housing needs. These permitted development rights are subject to obtaining prior approval from the local council.
In the same statement, the government also announced that applicants will have an extra year to convert further storage and distribution buildings into new homes. This temporary permitted development right has been extended until 10 June 2019.
The final part of the announcement was the increase in the size of new agricultural buildings on larger farms from 465 square metres to 1,000 square metres.
Although these changes are to come into force from 6 April 2018, in the absence of any detailed wording of the orders to implement the changes, we are yet to see how they will work in practice.
"These long awaited amendments to the legislation are welcomed; not only do they make available a larger footprint to work with and the possibility of creating up to five new homes, but also valuable light has been shed on the scope of allowable structural works giving clarification to planning consultants and councils alike". Sam Russell, Director, SBK