Timber framed Class Q success in East Staffordshire

Timber Framed

Planning & Design Practice working in partnership with Jervis Design Architects is pleased to announce that we have successfully overturned a decision to refuse Prior Approval for the change of use of a timber framed agricultural building to a house in Yoxall, Burton-upon-Trent (East Staffordshire Borough Council) under Class Q of the General Permitted Development Order (GPDO).

Figure 1: Photograph of the agricultural building barn to be converted
Figure 2: 3D visual of the proposed conversion

An appeal Statement of Case was prepared by Planning & Design Practice Ltd Planning Team on behalf of the Appellants against East Staffordshire Borough 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 level of construction and structural works required to create a dwell-ing from the existing building would go well beyond what could reasonably be described as a conversion with the works being so extensive so as to comprise rebuilding. It is therefore concluded that the works necessary to create a dwelling from the structure on site would not fall within the scope of that which is permissible under Schedule 2, Part 3, Class Q of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2015 (as amended) and the National Planning Policy Practice Guidance.

2) The introduction of an extensive driveway into an open field within the countryside would render it impractical and undesirable for the conversion of the building given the impact this would have on the rural setting of the building, therefore it is considered to be contrary to Part 3, Class Q.2 (1) (e) of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2015 (as amended) and the National Planning Policy Practice Guidance.

We believed that East Staffordshire Borough Council had taken an unnecessarily narrow approach to defining the scope of work that can be reasonably expected to convert an agricultural building to a residential dwelling through the misinterpretation of Q.(b) and Q.1(i) of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 and has misapplied the tests set out in Q.2(1) (e) of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 with regard to the proposed access track.

With regard to the associated building operations ‘reasonably necessary’ to convert the building the Inspector found:

“Although reference is made to replacement matching cladding where necessary, based on my site observations of the condition of the external fabric of the building, I consider the extent of such works would be limited. The number of windows and doors proposed would also be reasonably necessary to facilitate the conversion.”

The Inspector goes on to state:

“Whilst I accept that the works proposed are wide-ranging, based on the evidence be-fore me, including that there would be no significant structural alterations and the ex-tent of works to the exterior fabric of the barn, the proposal can be considered a con-version of a building.”

With regard to the proposed driveway and the consideration of the development being impractical and undesirable for the conversion the Inspector found:

“The driveway would however use an existing access from Yoxall Road and whilst I note its length and that it would be through an existing field, it would be formed of a permeable gravel track, with a central grass mound. This would reflect a traditional agricultural track, albeit other tracks in the area may be historic.”

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

Class Q 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.

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