National Advert - Class Q

2nd November, 2017 by Acorus

Class Q-The Fall Back Position

The Permitted Development right which allows the conversion of agricultural buildings to dwellings has now been in place for approximately three and ahalf years. The right was introduced as Class MB of the General Permitted Development (Amendment and Consequential Provisions) (England) Order 2014. Following legislative update it is now Class Q of the General Permitted Development (England) Order 2015.

Since the introduction of Class MB it has been argued that Class MB/Q establishes the principle of residential development on a site, creating a“fall-back position”. This can then form the basis of a subsequent full planning application to try and expand on permitted development rights often making best use of asite by achieving development that isn’t within the rules of the permitted development right. Until now mixed results have been achieved when taking this approach, due to different views held by Local Planning Authorities. However, two recent cases have proved successful in West Sussex and Lincolnshire.

West Sussex

This case was a result of a Class MB application. Acorus saw an opportunity to turn the MB consent into a full planning consent on the basis development could occur anyway. The scheme submitted followed closely what was allowed by the permitted development right anyway, but with an increased curtilage and access improvements. The client is planning on selling the site, and so a full planning permission has advantages for this.


With the second case, residential consent was achieved under Class Q at Appeal for two buildings into one dwelling. A subsequent full planning application was then submitted to turn the two buildings into one house, with a new “link building” connecting the two together. The planning application was rejected by the Local Planning Authority but was successful at Appeal.

The above approach has been strengthened by a recent Court of Appeal Ruling, Mansell v Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council [2017], which upheld the view that Class Q does indeed create a fall back position. In that instance the proposed development related to the complete demolition of a building with consent for three dwellings under Class Q, and the construction of three brand new dwellings. There was a benefit for that particular site in doing this. This court case now strengthens the use of the fall back position in full planning applications with such schemes.

If you have a building with Class Q consent or a building that might benefit from Class Q development, it could be worth a further planning application to maximise potential or make additions to a design that wouldn’t have been approved under Class Q. This is something that Acorus is well placed to assist with. In addition if you would like more information on the above please contact one of our offices and speak to a planning consultant.

Other News

Changes to Permitted Development

Housing Minister, Dominic Raab, has confirmed a range of amendments to permitted development rights that...
Read more

Prior Approval For Change Of Use

The Midlands office is pleased to report that they have secured Prior Approval for the...
Read more

Appeal Win For The Midlands

The Midlands team are pleased to have secured consent for a farmer to progress with...
Read more