Barn Conversions - New Planning Rights

An explosion of work opportunities in the construction and renovation sector looks likely to happen following new government proposals to ease planning restrictions for barn conversions and alternative uses of agricultural buildings. New rights will allow owners of agricultural buildings to turn them into dwelling places, schools and nurseries.

Under the existing system, many land and property owners would not receive permission to create such conversions. The new proposals allow agricultural buildings to be fully converted into a maximum of three houses or flats, each of which could be no more than 150M² in area. Buildings of up 500M² would be eligible for conversion to become a state-funded school or childcare-providing nursery.

As well as permitting the ‘physical development necessary to allow for the conversion’, the proposals also allow for the total demolition and subsequent rebuild of a building on the same site. Approval from local planners will be required though an outright rejection can only be issued if the problem related to sonic impact, land contamination, flooding risks and highways impact. Local authorities must allow planning applications for the re-use of disused farm buildings for residential use and other uses that enhance the rural surroundings. Local government planning policies that conflict with these new planning rights now carry little weight in decision making.

To prevent abuse of the system, which are due to come fully into effect in April 2014, it will not be permitted to quickly build 'agricultural buildings' now in order to take advantage of the new law; conversion rights will only apply to buildings that were constructed before the government's announcement of the proposals in March 2013. However the number of barns for sale by farmers to builders seems set to rise as developers realise the investment potential in refurbishing old barns.

Barn conversions require an extensive amount of renovation work in order to make them habitable. Specialist remedial products such as Electro-osmosis DPC systems for damp proofing difficult to treat rubble filled walls, wood preservatives for treatment of wood rot and woodworm and a comprehensive selection of Helical Bars for strengthening and repairing masonry, will be required in great amounts and Twistfix are expert suppliers of a superior range of renovation solutions. Our experienced technical team are always available to offer advice and assistance on choosing the correct products and our reputation for quality, teamed with cost-effectiveness, is second-to-none.

Please contact us on 0845 123 6006 or email for further information.

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