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From agriculture buildings to residential – Class Q development

From agriculture buildings to residential – Class Q development

Class Q permitted development supports the re-use of redundant farm buildings for housing development in rural areas, including within the countryside, the green belt and in those areas outside of a settlement.

Class Q regulations can be applied to buildings which have been used for agriculture on or before the 20th March 2013. The regulations state;

  • You can create up to five dwellings, not to exceed 465sqm.
  • Dwellings are classed as small (up to 100sqm) and large (between 100sqm and 465sqm)
  • You can install or replace windows, doors, the roof, exterior walls, water, drainage, electricity, gas and other services to the extent that they are reasonably necessary for the building to be used as a home.
  • Partial demolition that is reasonably necessary is allowed.
  • The existing building must be capable of conversion, in structural terms.  If the use as a dwelling requires substantial building operations, then what is proposed amounts to construction of a new building and would fall outside the scope of Class Q.

Class Q does provide a wealth of exciting possibilities, however there are restrictions to consider.  Class Q permitted development does not apply to:

  • Conservation Areas, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), The Broads and National Parks.
  • World Heritage Sites.
  • Designated scheduled monuments or listed buildings.
  • Extending or enlarging the existing building beyond its existing external dimensions, with the curtilage to be no larger than the footprint of the building itself.
  • The roof is not to be raised under Class Q.

There are a number of criteria that the local planning authority will consider the prior approval against, including highway impacts, noise, contamination risks, flood risk, the design and external appearance of the building and whether the siting of the building makes it otherwise impractical or undesirable for the building to change from agricultural use.