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From Inception To Completion!

New proposed Agricultural design

Since the introduction of Class Q (formerly known as Class MB) Permitted Development Rights in 2014, the provision to convert agricultural buildings to residential dwellings, many disused buildings across the UK have benefited from these rights and are now converted to new homes in parts of the countryside which would not normally be available.

We were first approached by our client following a refusal under Class MB to change the use of one of his agricultural buildings which was no longer required for his farming operations. 

Acorus assessed the site and building and sought advice from a structural engineer as to the merits of conversion. 

Old Agricultural Shed

Class Q Planning Application

Class Q development is only permitted where the site (including any buildings) was used solely for agricultural purposes as part of an established agricultural unit on 20 March 2013, or if the site was not in use on that date, when it was last in use before that date, or in the case of a site brought into use after 20 March 2013, for a period of at least 10 years before the date development under Class Q begins.

The current rights allow for the conversion of up to a total of five dwellings.  Three larger dwellings up to a maximum of 465m2, or up to five smaller dwellings each no larger than 100m2, or a mix of both, but no more than three larger dwellings per unit.

Modern Agricultural rebuild (2)

Building operations are permitted which are reasonably necessary to convert the building to residential use.  However, the external dimensions of the converted building cannot exceed the existing, and the building must be deemed able to be converted within rules.

Details of the proposal, including plans, need to be submitted to the Local Planning Authority who will assess the application and decide whether prior approval is required and if so whether it is granted or refused.  They have 56 days to ‘notify’ the applicant of their decision.

A suitable conversion scheme was devised for our client’s barn with plans and elevations produced.  A ‘Prior Approval’ Planning Application was then submitted to the Local Planning Authority of the proposed new dwelling and residential curtilage in line with the various criteria set down by the regulations.  The application was granted approval.

Design Scheme

Our client wanted to revise the design of the approved development with a view to selling the property as a building plot. 

As the principle of residential use had already been established following the approval under Class Q, a revised design scheme had a good chance of success.  In planning terms, this is sometimes referred to as the ‘fall back’ position.

Acorus in house design team worked closely with the client and a modern bespoke three bedroom family home was created offering all the benefits of modern living.  The revised scheme worked well within the existing landscape and topography of the site located in a small rural hamlet.

Rural Landscape

The proposed dwelling offered a unique opportunity to construct a home that would rarely become available in such a location.

A full planning application was submitted and approved.

Property Sale

Once planning permission had been granted our client instructed us to market the plot for sale.

Being very familiar with the site and having undertaken the Planning and Design work, Acorus were best placed to deal with any interested parties and answer any planning and design questions accordingly, along with providing an estimate of build costs.

The property generated significant interest and eventually sold to a local builder looking for his next construction project.

New modern agricultural building (1)

Our client was delighted with the outcome with proceeds of the sale then re-appropriated to the farming business.

This case is a classic scenario of the services Acorus offer.  A disused agricultural building through to the sale of a modern family home, supporting our client every step of the way – a ‘one stop shop’ for projects from ‘Inception to Completion’, quite literally in this case!


Julie Milne

It is with great sadness that we share the news that our dear friend and colleague Julie Milne has passed away. Julie was our Finance

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