Obtaining Planning Permission to Convert Redundant Barns
Redundant and under-used agricultural buildings are spread right across the countryside in every part of the UK and offer significant potential for re-use, thereby mitigating the need for new buildings in rural areas. They can be converted to many uses; residential and rural offices being the most common. Barns have two main advantages; firstly that they are often located in attractive rural areas; and secondly they have large high open spaces that make internal planning very flexible and offers the potential for double height space.
Recent changes in planning law mean that it is now possible to convert agricultural buildings into houses. This applies to nearly all ages of barns including the more modern industrial style barns. However the rules are complex and in particular there are limitations for Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Conservation Areas or National Parks, or if the Barn is a listed building. Green belt is particularly difficult.
We are involved in several projects within Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty where obtaining planning is still a challenge, however we have been successful in obtaining planning permission even in these areas by making significant improvements to the landscape that the AONB restrictions seek to protect, particularly if they are associated with demolition of other unattractive buildings around it.
This is quite contentious in policy terms so the outcomes for individual sites can be unpredictable, but it does offer hope for people who have redundant agricultural structures on their land, have no way of making them economically viable and are concerned at the cost of just keeping them from falling down. If you have buildings of this type, particularly in Kent and Sussex, and would like to discuss their potential, please get in touch.