Planning for Rural Development

Obtaining planning permission for rural development can provide you with that home in the countryside that you’ve always dreamed of, or a more relaxed way of life. 

For farmers and landowners, it can also bring about significant gains and help to transform and maximise the value of your rural property. However, development in the countryside is subject to strict planning controls which can make obtaining planning permission very difficult.

Key Contact

About Our Rural Planning and Development Service

Since 2014, the government has introduced a range of permitted development rights to support the re-use of agricultural buildings and land within their curtilage.

However, these development rights are subject to conditions and restrictions which it is vital to be aware of when considering your options and developing your project. We can provide you with expert advice on issues to be taken into account prior to submission of your application through to receiving the decision.

We offer a range of planning and development services in relation to each of the below rural development categories, as set out in the General Permitted Development Order (GPDO).

  • Conversion of agricultural buildings to dwellings – (Class Q of the GPDO);
  • Conversion of agricultural buildings to a “flexible use” – (Class R of the GPDO);
  • Conversion of agricultural buildings to educational uses – (Class S of the GPDO).

How Can We Help

We have vast experience of working on projects for homeowners, landowners and farmers in rural areas including:

If you have any questions about a rural planning project please do not hesitate to get in touch.

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Why Choose Planning & Design?

At Planning & Design Practice, our values are rooted in providing a friendly service and fully meeting your expectations whilst maintaining integrity and prioritising teamwork. You can rely on us to provide honest, sound advice and to maintain high, professional standards.

Rural Development Projects

A selection of Rural development projects

Rural Development

Rural Development FAQs

Class Q is the name given to the permitted development right to convert agricultural buildings into dwellings which have been with us since 2014.

Permitted development is the right of an owner to develop his or her land within limits prescribed by the General Permitted Development Order. The point of the order was originally to allow minor development to go ahead without having to go through the planning application process. For example small extensions to houses and simple changes of use i.e. changing a pub to a restaurant or a bank to a shop.

In the interest of simplifying the planning system and boosting the supply of houses, the government extended permitted development rights to include the right to change agricultural buildings to dwellings.

There are certain areas where Class Q permitted development rights cannot be used, such as within areas of outstanding natural beauty, World Heritage Sites and conservation areas (not exhaustive). Barns that are listed are also exempt.

When thinking of converting a barn or agricultural building most people assume that this is to create new homes or holiday accommodation in the countryside. But there are many other options to help diversify your rural business including commercial, storage and even educational uses.

Conservation areas are designated by local authorities. Every local authority in England has at least one Conservation Area and there are around 10,000 in England. The best way to find out is to look on your local council’s website. An interesting fact is that Conservation Areas in England cover an area larger than Luxembourg. 59% of these are in rural areas. [Source: Historic England]

Contact Us Today

Comprising town planners, designers and architects, we have vast experience of working on projects for homeowners, landowners, developers and farmers in rural areas.

For a no obligation consultation to discuss your project, please get in touch.