Tools to speed up planning process for farmers

Farming | Published:

Permitted development rights are a significant tool for farmers and landowners seeking to erect new buildings, or change the use of existing buildings.

Charlotte Jacob is an assistant land agent with Balfours

It is a method of obtaining permission for certain works without the expense in planning fees and long time scales associated with submitting a full planning application.

Permitted development rights are available to those who meet the criteria set out in the General Permitted Development (England) Order 2015 and subsequent amendments. A brief overview of the options currently available under GDPO that may be of interest to those in the rural sectors are as follows:

Part 6 Class A which allows the erection or extension of an agricultural building with a maximum proposed floor area of 1,000 square metres.

Part 3 Class Q which allows the change of use of an agricultural building to residential use, allowing a maximum of five dwellings with a total cumulative area of 865 square metres.

Part 3 Class R which allows the change of use of an agricultural building to flexible commercial use with a maximum floor area of 500 square metres.

Part 2 Class B allows the creation of a means of access to a highway which is not a trunk road or a classified road where the access is required in connection with development permitted by any class in this schedule (except for Part 2 Class A).

All of the above are subject to the submission of a prior notification which will detail the proposal and most importantly how the proposal and the site meet the requirements set out in order.

To this end we would advise that professional guidance at this stage can ensure your plans really do meet the prescriptive target. One glitch at this stage and it can prove extremely costly in terms of time and money.


Once a prior notification is submitted, and this can all be done online, to the local planning authority, a decision must be granted within 56 days of validation for a change of use under Part 3 or within 28 days of validation for agriculture and forestry under Part 6, or permission is automatically granted.

Unlike full planning permission, where the consented works must commence within in the time frame given in the decision notice, a proposal approved though prior notification must be completed within the prescribed time frame given in the GDPO.

Charlotte Jacob is an assistant land agent with Balfours


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