Another route to building re-use

It’s well known that redundant farm buildings can sometimes be converted to houses under rights granted by the Government.

Nial Casselden, Associate Director, Fisher German
Nial Casselden, Associate Director, Fisher German

It is termed a Class Q conversion. But often councils are reluctant to give the green light if the building is more modern or not very substantial. As it happens, there are other rights under Class R that enable buildings to be converted to a "flexible commercial use."

This is a different procedure to Class Q. The first step is to apply to the council to permit the change of use. Once this is granted, then a further planning application may be required for the building works "reasonably necessary" to enable the permitted use.

In practice, we have found that councils and planning inspectors tend to be more relaxed about granting Class R conversions for a wide range of buildings, including those that struggle to gain a Class Q conversion.

A "flexible commercial use" includes shops, cafes, restaurants, offices, storage facilities, hotels and gyms. The definition of "hotel" includes aparthotels and Air BnB facilities.

If you have any buildings that you are pondering what to do with, then please get in touch and we’d be delighted to have a chat.

Nial Casselden, Associate Director, Fisher German

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