County Planning Ltd
Moving development forward

agricultural barn conversions

Class Q barn conversions

Permitted development barn conversions

This somewhat under-used provision in the Permitted Development Order grants automatic planning permissions to convert agricultural barns to houses. Although subject to a range of strict criteria, this excellent tool can be used for single barns, whole farmstead conversions for up to 5 houses or anything in-between (even in the green belt).

Below are some examples of our involvement in some Class Q barn conversions:

3D visual of barn conversion (c) MBED Architects

Kirkham, Lancashire

Whilst working at a previous consultancy practice, I was instructed on this project following refusal of a previous scheme prepared by an architect. I identified, selected and provided a detailed brief for a new architect before submitting a notification and progressing it through the Council. It was approved in late 2016.

Following changes to the legislation in 2018, I have been working alongside the architect to advise on progressing the scheme through its final stage of planning for external alterations which do not benefit from automatic approval.


lymm, warrington

I was instructed to commission plans for and to progress a prior notification for conversion of a large brick built barn under Class Q, to a 5 bedroom detached dwelling. The proposal included replacement window and door openings, installation of a mezzanine floor, new roof and floor to ceiling windows inside existing openings at each end.

I instructed topographical surveyors, ecologists and architects to prepare plans and reports before serving notification on the Council. Following an exchange of letters to resolve local objections, confirmation of the right to proceed was granted within 56 days.

West Lancs

burscough, west lancs

We are instructed by the landowner to advise and evaluate the potential for conversion of a former agricultural building in the West Lancs green belt.

Following a site visit to consider things such as highway implications and structural condition of the building, I researched and considered the planning history of the site to check that it meets the relevant criteria.

I advised the landowner how best to proceed and it is anticipated that a prior notification will be submitted in 2019, with an expectation that it will be approved.

Beyond agricultural building conversions, there are a range of prior notification rights applicable to buildings in a variety of other uses including offices (Use Class B1) and storage buildings (Use Class B8). For more information on any of the above projects or to find out if your building is eligible to use automatic conversion rights, please contact us.