More Rural Home Conversion Opportunities, says Housing Minister

Shona Jackson
by Shona Jackson
12th March 2018

Those living in rural communities in England will be given more options to convert agricultural buildings into family homes.

Housing Minister Dominic Raab announced the changes to planning rules, which are intended to help meet local demand.

New revisions to permitted development rights will allow a maximum of five new houses to be created from existing agricultural buildings on a farm. Previously, planning regulations limited the number to three properties.

The amendments, which come into force on the 6th April 2018, will permit the development of:

  • 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
The exterior of Emma Gordon's barn was repointed in stages throughout the winter months. Photo: Colin Poole
Emma and Andy Gordon saw past the dark, damp structure of this 200-year-old barn when they opted to convert it
Add flair to your barn conversion by highlighting structural features - as with these steel beams, painted yellow to contrast the exposed stone. Photo: Colin Poole
By rearranging internal walls and installing swathes of glass, they transformed the space into a bright, open-plan home

Dominic Raab highlighted the need for creative solutions to meet housing demand in the countryside.

“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 said.

“This is part of our comprehensive reform programme to build the homes Britain needs.”

Temporary change of use rights, allowing the conversion of storage and distribution buildings into residential homes, have also been extended for a further year. Under permitted development, such changes can now be made until 10th June 2019.

Currently, several hundred homes are created through agricultural conversions each year. The government hopes to see this number rise to help ease rural housing pressures.

Top image: Once a derelict barn, the Gordons transformed this structure into a stunning home. Read the full story here

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