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Front of the Q – new conversion rights explained

May 9, 2024

Important new changes to planning rules for the conversion of agricultural buildings into housing are set to come into effect.

The class Q regulations were refreshed on April 30 and are due to take force on May 21. The main difference relates to the number of dwellings that can be created – doubling from five to 10.

The amount of space which can be converted has increased to 1,000 m², however the maximum size of any dwelling is now 150 m². Therefore, in order to have ten new dwellings under Class Q, each one will need to be 100 m² each.

Currently, the regulations apply only to buildings that are in agricultural use either now or when last used and at the date of May 2013. This has caused lots of issues where buildings have become redundant and then used for informal storage.

While this has not changed the lawful use, some local authorities have interpreted the situation as the building not being in agricultural use at the time of the application and, thus, the regulations not applying.

The changes remove this anomaly and, indeed, buildings that have been used for other purposes can still benefit from the rights.

Any applications on or after May 21, will be subject to the new rules.

Please contact us to find out more about these changes and what they mean for your plans or project.