Class Q planning appeal success in Staffordshire Moorlands

Class Q Planning

Planning & Design Practice successfully overturned a decision to refuse Prior Approval for the change of use of an agricultural building to a house in Rudyard, Staffordshire under Class Q of the General Permitted Development Order (GPDO).

An appeal Statement of Case was prepared by Planning & Design Practice Planning Team on behalf of the Appellants against Staffordshire Moorland District Council’s decision to refuse the application. The Council resolved to refuse planning permission for the proposed development under delegated powers following reasons:

1) The current building, by virtue of its scale and modern storage building functional form is considered to have a poor design and appearance which is not significantly improved by the proposed timber finishing materials and other external alterations. It is considered the proposal would not lead to an acceptable design and appearance due to the scale and form of the building. The proposal therefore would fail to com-ply with Part 3 Class Q2(1)f of Schedule 2 of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2015 (as amended), Policy DC1 of the adopted Local Plan and the design provisions of the NPPF.

We believed that Staffordshire Moorland District Council had misapplied the tests set out in Q.2(f) and Paragraph W of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 with regard to the design and external appearance of the existing building and the resulting conversion.

The assessment of ‘the design or external appearance of the building’ as set out in Q.2(1)(f) should be limited to the consideration of new window openings, doors etc… and, where relevant, use of new materials, as set out in Q.1(i). To extend the assessment further than this is considered to be irrelevant to the subject matter and contrary to Class Q legislation, in Planning Designs opinion.

The Planning Inspector found that:

“Although the Council reference the poor design of the existing building and that it does not con-tribute positively to the traditional rural character and appearance of the area, the pro-posal would continue to appear as a building with an agricultural character in a rural land-scape, albeit with an improved appearance compared to the existing position due to the external treatment proposed.”

The Inspector goes on to state:

“The Council has further referenced the greater degree of permanence that would result from the proposal. This is not however a matter for consideration under Class Q of the GPDO. The Council acknowledges the building exists lawfully and has been in use for agricultural pur-poses. As such, it benefits from the Permitted Development right set out under Class Q which grants permission for agricultural buildings to be converted to dwellinghouse subject to prior approval matters.”

The Inspector resolved to grant the appeal and allow the conversion of the building under Class Q of the GPDO.

Class Q planning conversions are something Planning & Design Practice Ltd are well versed in, having helped lots of clients imagine and realise their dream homes.

The permitted development right legislation is a notoriously complicated and complex issue with many Planning Authorities. We have vast experience of working on rural projects for homeowners, landowners and farmers in including barn conversions (both via a planning application and Class Q).

If you have had planning permission refused or would like to discuss your options or chances at appeal, please get in contact for a free no obligation discussion.

Andrew Stock, Associate Director – Chartered Town Planner, Planning & Design Practice Ltd

Class Q Planning
Elevations and sections as proposed: Image Ian Ankers Architecture
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