The permitted development right to convert agricultural buildings into dwellings has been contentious since it was first introduced. The way Councils interpret the legislation varies from district to district and it can be very difficult to get consent for a modern agricultural building to be converted into a dwelling. Class Q represents a brilliant opportunity to develop old, redundant agricultural buildings into dwellings – if you can get them passed.
A farm in Staffordshire has done just that. Sat atop a hillside and accessed from an existing agricultural track, the building’s location is spectacular. We were able to obtain consent as the building has a substantial steel structure and this formed the basis of the conversion. The building is already entirely clad on four sides with Yorkshire Boarding and corrugated sheets and the proposed design incorporated the boarding as a design feature, allowing light to enter the building. The corrugated sheets were replaced with timber cladding to improve the overall aesthetic.
Class Q can be difficult to build as the legislation is very restrictive about what can be done. To overcome this, the building will be converted from the inside. Externally, there will be little change to the overall appearance except for the introduction of a commensurate amount of glazing, making the most of the striking views across the Staffordshire landscape and keeping the development entirely inside what is allowed under Class Q.
Class Q has become a niche but very interesting aspect of planning law and we are getting positive decisions from Councils from plans we submit. This project, like so many agricultural buildings, has the potential to be a spectacular home and we are excited to see the finished product.
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