Planning permission for barn conversions

7 May 2017

We have planning permission to convert 2 barns into 3 residential properties. Planning is under the permitted development scheme. We are wondering if there is a way that the planning can be split so that we can sell 1 barn and convert the other without worrying that both barns have to be converted within the 3 year time frame to full fill planning permission criteria.


A condition of Part 3, Class Q permitted development rights to convert from agricultural buildings to residential is that the works must be completed within 3 years of the grant of ‘prior approval’. In your case, assuming both barns were dealt with under one application, they all have to be finished within that period.

To split one building off to sell, and to be sure that delays with that build doesn’t impact on yours, you could make a new applications for prior approval, with slightly different schemes, so gaining separate permissions and also re-setting the clock, which might be handy for sale purposes. An alternative approach would be to seek two planning permissions, again based on slightly different schemes, meaning a purchaser only has to start work within 3 years, rather than finish.

You could of course just sell with the current permission, but make it a condition of the purchase that the conversion must be completed within the requisite timescale. It would be sensible to discuss these options with both your solicitor and an estate agent or two, to ensure your interests are protected and you get the best price for your barn.

Mike Dade (Build It expert)

10 May 2017
Our sponsors