Government changes rural planning rules to encourage smaller builds

  • 12/03/2018
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Government changes rural planning rules to encourage smaller builds
The government is overhauling development rules in rural areas to encourage farmers and landowners to build more smaller properties where feasible.

Permitted development rights will be changed to allow up to five new homes to be created from existing agricultural buildings on a farm rather, than the current maximum of three.

Government is also giving applicants an extra year to convert further storage and distribution buildings into new homes that it hopes will help relieve local housing pressures.

The regulations come into force on 6 April and follow up the changes in national planning rules announced last week.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) said currently several hundred new homes each year are created through conversions of agricultural buildings, and that these changes are expected to boost these numbers further.

Permitted development rights are subject to conditions and limitations to control impact and to protect local amenity.

The amended development right for the change of use of agricultural buildings to provide up to five new homes will allow for:

  • up to three larger homes within a maximum of 465 square metres or;
  • up to five smaller homes each no larger than 100 square metres or;
  • a mix of both, within a total of no more than five homes, of which no more than three may be larger homes.


More creative solution

MHCLG added that applicants will have a further year in which to benefit from the temporary permitted development right for the change of use of buildings used for storage and distribution to residential use.

The right will be extended by a year until 10 June 2019.

Housing minister Dominic Raab said: “We need to be more creative if we are to meet the housing needs of rural communities.

“That’s why I’m changing planning rules so rural communities have more flexibility on how best to use existing buildings to deliver more much needed homes for families,” he added.

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