Making use of permitted development rights can provide a cheaper and quicker route than going through a full planning application. If you’re unaware of the scope and potential that permitted development rights offer, here’s a little insight…

AssetSphere are experienced in dealing with complex sites that require a strategic approach to planning. And we’re very used to utilising permitted development rights to achieve long-term goals and increase the value of capital assets.

For example, permitted development rights under Class Q of the General Permitted Development (England) Order 2015 (GPDO) provide farmers and landowners with agricultural buildings the opportunity to change the use to up to five dwellings of varying sizes.

There are a number of restrictions for using Class Q. The key issues are that the building or buildings need to have been in agricultural use on 20 March 2013 as part of an established agricultural holding, and need to be capable of conversion (which would be demonstrated via a structural engineer’s report). 

The other permitted development right available to agricultural buildings is called Class R. It allows for the change of use from agricultural to flexible uses of up to 500 square metres. This can include office use, storage and C1 hotel use (which includes guest houses).

The benefit of Class R is that it does not require the agricultural building to be structurally capable of conversion. However, Class R simply allows for the change of use and does not include the operational development which would be submitted as a full planning application once the change of use has been established. 

The advantage of prior approval applications is that they are only accessed on the criteria laid out within the GPDO. This is instead of the National Planning Policy Framework and the Local Planning Authority’s Local Plan policies, which are generally not in support of development in rural locations.

Class Q and Class R can both be used to create a fallback position which relies on the principle of a residential or flexible use being established, and then allowing for a full planning application to be submitted to possibly demolish the existing structure and alter the siting to a more suitable location.

For help with permitted development rights or other rural planning matters, call Alex Orttewell on 01935 852170 or email