Barn conversions set to be fast-tracked
Anybody wanting to convert a barn should find the process much easier following the announcement by Greg Clark, Minister of State for Decentralisation and Cities, of new measures to simplify the planning system.
The proposals would help those looking to change the use of current agricultural buildings and disused barns to support rural growth. According to Johnny Dudgeon from Savills Estate Management, the result is that planners will speed up their decisions and consequently the planning process will become simpler, clearer and more accessible.
“Currently planning is a significant risk and cost to landowners and many schemes proposed don’t even get off the ground,” he said, “even if they are proposed to introduce more jobs in the countryside. Under the new proposals farmers and other landowners will be able to convert old barns for new commercial purposes, such as farm shops, workshops, leisure facilities, cafes and even music venues. This is however only at consultation stage, but we believe this will be positive news for landowners if implemented, especially as it is anticipated that planning application fees will be increased this autumn.”
His advice for people with plans for these kinds of development schemes is to consider deferring them for a few months in order to save costs. “The changes to the planning law will be going out to consultation for three months until September 11,” he said. “If agreed, they would provide landowners with new opportunities to develop disused barns or other agricultural buildings without the need to apply formally for planning permission by claiming ‘permitted development rights’, similar to those that allow homeowners to build a modest extension to their house without planning permission.”barn conversion, real estate
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