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Permitted Development Rights

Permitted Development Rights

One of the biggest concerns people have over barn conversion projects is that their project will get tangled up in complicated and restrictive planning rules and regulations. Whilst it is true that the laws can be complex and challenging at times, in the last few years the government has made efforts to simplify the process and encourage more development in rural areas.

As part of this new government approach, Permitted Development Rights were introduced in 2014, which make it easier for agricultural buildings to be repurposed for residential use. Gaining PDR makes it more likely that the local authority will approve an application.

As a building company specialising in barn conversions, the PDR legislation has been hugely welcome for us, and it is has enabled us to commence work on one of our current projects – a collection of six detached barns north of Chepstow, which we are currently converting into residential buildings. The first three will be under Permitted Development, and the others will be under a full planning consent.

Not all barn buildings are eligible for Permitted Development Rights – PDRs don’t apply in locations designated areas of outstanding natural beauty, national parks or conservation areas, or for buildings that have been under agricultural use for less than 10 years.

You can gain PDR for a maximum of three buildings within a single agricultural unit, with a maximum of 450m of floor space. The rights give permission to carry out all necessary building works to turn buildings into a liveable dwelling, provided it does not extend beyond the footprint of the external dimensions of the existing building.

If you own farm buildings or are considering purchasing them, and would like some expert advice on converting these buildings into new homes, give us a call or send us a message via our contact page. You can also find more information on the government’s Planning Practice Guidance website.