Over the past few months we have had a great number of planning successes across Gloucestershire, Worcestershire and Herefordshire.

These cover a wide range of areas, including:

  • Class Q permitted developments
  • Agricultural Occupancy Condition removals
  • New agricultural workers dwellings
  • Barn conversions
  • Stables
  • Gallops
  • New access tracks
  • Caravan sites
  • Retrospective change of use

Class Q
Earlier in 2018 the Class Q permitted development rules were amended, giving landowners greater flexibility and more options when converting agricultural buildings to residential dwellings. These changes have increased the maximum cumulative floor area to 465 sqm for three “larger” dwellings. They have also allowed the creation of up to five “smaller homes” – with a maximum floor space of 100 sqm each. This gives landowners the option to create three “larger homes”, five “smaller homes” or a mixture of both, allowing them to maximize the potential of their agricultural buildings.

Agricultural Occupancy Conditions

We have had a number of successes removing and regularising Ag Ties over past few months. These have included using a number of different methods, in many cases sparing our clients the ordeal of the 12 month marketing policy often requested by many local authorities.  As well as restricting who can live in a property, Ag Ties can reduce the value of your property by up to 30%, so if you are looking to sell your property it can be very beneficial to have the Tie removed and release this value. Our successes are not just locally based, they cover Bath, Devon, Leicestershire and Kent, to name a few.

New Agricultural Workers Dwellings

New dwellings in the countryside contradict most national and local planning polices, and there are very limited instances where planning consent would be granted. An agricultural workers dwelling is one of the acceptable reasons for a new dwelling in the open countryside, but even they need to be justifiable. At Carver Knowles we have great experience in gaining consent for agricultural workers dwellings across the three counties area.

Barn Conversions

We have had successes not only converting agricultural buildings into dwellings under Class Q permitted development, but also achieving full planning for converting buildings to dwellings and holiday lets. Full planning consent can give wider design options when converting buildings and in some cases, such as when a building is listed, it is not possible to convert under permitted development rights.

Dwellings are not the only option when converting farm buildings. There are also a number of different permitted development opportunities for agricultural buildings that allow conversation into shops, cafes, light industrial, leisure facilities and many other uses.

Equine Planning

We have had a number of equine related planning successes in the past few months including:

  • Retrospective change of use of stables
  • Ménage
  • Gallops

It often surprises our clients how even relatively small equine facilities need planning consent. Stables, horse walkers, storing horseboxes commercially and storage barns all require planning consent.  It is also worth noting that changing stables from personal use to livery use requires planning consent.

Retrospective Planning Consent

It is often the case that landowners do not realise that planning consent was required in order to develop or change the use of a building or area of land. In some cases this can be serious and the landowner can face enforcement action and fines. To prevent this we can submit a retrospective planning application or apply for a Certificate of Lawful Use if the circumstances support it.


If you would like planning advice in relation to any of the above or for other scenarios then please contact either Aislyn Firth or Ellen Cottrell on 01684 853400 or by email  aislynfirth@fts.carverknowles.co.uk / ellencottrell@fts.carverknowles.co.uk.