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Our 2019 Planning Review – Top 5 News Items

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14th January, 2020 by Acorus

  1. Agricultural dwelling planning guidance updated

In July planning practice guidance in relation to isolated dwellings was updated. This has helped clarify and redefine the functional and financial tests as used previously in determining such cases. Perhaps the key consideration introduced by the guidance is whether the provision of an additional dwelling on site is essential for the continued viability of a farming business through the farm succession process, allowing new dwellings for new entrants to farm businesses and succeeding generations, whilst existing/previous generations of farmers can remain in existing dwellings.

  1. Permitted development under Class P expired

Class P which allowed for the change of use of buildings in B8 storage use to dwellings has not been renewed, meaning that it expired on 10th June.

  1. Making permanent the permitted development rights for house extensions

Permitted Development rights exist to allow for extensions to homes, with varying limitations and options available depending on the type of development proposed and how it fits with the existing dwelling and boundaries. Under the original drafting of the rules these rights were to expire in May 2019, however in May 2019 these rights were made permanent.

  1. Inability to now extend time on Class Q

A court case decision in July (Warren Farm Ltd v Wokingham Borough Council) looked at the ability to extend the time period for a decision under Class Q; the permitted development right which allows for the conversion of agricultural buildings to dwellings. The case found that the correct interpretation of the relevant legislation is that there is no right to extend the statutory 56 days in which a decision has to be made. This means that some cases which were refused in an extended period could be revisited as the decision came out of time, with the potential for a deemed consent in such instances due to the 56 day rule.

  1. Interpretation of Class Q

There is now much more emphasis on the extent of works needed to convert agricultural buildings to dwellings, and whether indeed it is a conversion as per the rules of Class Q, as the most common determining factor for such applications. Many types of buildings approved previously are now meeting resistance on this point, with level of openness and the extent of the existing building being crucial.

However on the positive side there has been increasing use, and success, of the “fall-back” planning argument, whereby replacement dwellings, and development not permitted by Class Q e.g. larger curtilage, porches, etc.  are achieved by a follow up full planning application.

You can find further detailed information in our Information Sheet section. 


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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