We are becoming more familiar with ‘Class Q’ which is using Permitted Development rights to change the use of agricultural buildings to residential use. Class Q even allows non-traditional buildings such as steel frame buildings, at-cost and breeze block building to be changed into residential use (subject to certain criteria). Whilst some barns offer incredible ‘grand design’ opportunities, others even when converted will still end up looking ‘like a shed’. Furthermore converting an existing barn isn’t always practical if near or in the farmyard.

This is where Class Q ‘super charged’ comes in – we now are able to, in some circumstances use the Class Q consent as a stepping stone to supersede and ‘upgrade’ the Q, to new build plots instead, on land near the shed, rather than converting the shed itself. A recent example in Worcestershire saw a tin shed eventually end up as three new build plots, worth in excess of £600,000 – and they still have the shed.

In a farming environment where capital investment may be necessary, finding funds for diversification or providing accommodation for future generations is crucial, selling off three or five house plots could provide you with the capital to ‘supercharge’ your business.

The Rural Planning Co undertake some projects on a no win – no fee basis, so you genuinely have nothing to lose and a lot to gain. Using an experienced trustworthy planning consultant allows you to plan upfront and ensures you have the correct strategy to make the most of the opportunity.

Hannah Moule Rural Chartered Surveyor and Planning Consultant

Author: Hannah Moule