Is converting your barn with class Q permitted development a smart investment?

Barn conversions are a great way of allowing you to develop the countryside home of your dreams – especially if you can do so under class Q permitted development rights. These rights allow you to go through a much faster and more cost-effective planning process, helping you maximise the value of your project and transform an otherwise disused building.

In this blog, we’ll explain all the key facts you need to know when converting a barn as a class Q permitted development.

How does class Q permitted development work for barn conversions?

Class Q permitted development is a type of planning permission that allows certain types of agricultural buildings (including the majority of barns) to be converted for residential use. 

You should submit an application of prior approval to ensure that you have the legal right to develop your barn, and to ensure that the local planning authorities are happy for you to proceed.

Making a prior approval application

By making your prior approval application, the local planning team will assess any potential impact your conversion might have, across transport, flooding, noise and any materials you intend to use in the works.

Your application should demonstrate how you meet all the requirements for class Q permitted development, and should also include detailed drawings that highlight floor plans; elevations; uses of each room; dimensions of walls, doors and windows; and where natural light will come into the barn. And this is just the start of the range of different parameters upon which your project will be judged

Your local planning team should assess your application and give you a firm approval or rejection in no more than eight weeks. Getting this approval is essential before starting any work on your barn.

What happens if my barn doesn’t meet class Q permitted development requirements?

If your plans don’t meet the criteria for class Q permitted development, then you will have to submit a full planning application in the normal way. This will also be the case if your barn is in a particularly notable area, such as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), a National Park, a World Heritage Site, or a conservation area.

What else do I need to consider?

Alongside your prior approval application for class Q permitted development, you will also need to gain building regulations approval. A good project partner will be able to help you in this area as part of the design process, and determine whether you can simply submit a building notice, or will need to make a full-plans building control application.

Another important thing to remember is that barn conversions are heavily restricted in terms of extensions. You won’t be able to build beyond the existing footprint of the barn, meaning you will only be able to pursue small extensions that are designed in keeping with the rest of the building. Furthermore, an extension of any size will require you to go through the full planning permission process.

Ready to convert your barn?

As you can see from this blog, there’s plenty to do when converting a barn, even if you qualify for class Q permitted development and can bypass the full planning process. If you’re finding the prospect of your project daunting, or feel you need some additional expertise along the way, then we’re perfectly placed to help you.

Buildsmith Solutions has worked on barn conversions just like yours for several years, guiding satisfied customers through the design process and helping them get the home of their dreams. Find out more on how we can support your project by getting in touch with us today.