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Pressure Builds on Villages Following Barn Conversion Rule Changes

by Paul Addison on April 17, 2018 No comments

Due to the government’s alterations to permitted development, rural areas could lose investment in affordable housing and infrastructure, alerts the Local Government Association (LGA).

At present, a maximum of 3 dwellings can be developed from an ‘existing agricultural building’ on a farm.

However, after the changes to permitted development rights, it has been announced by Dominic Raab, the housing minister, that the maximum will be increasing to 5 dwellings.

The amendments are directed at assisting communities in making the best use of existing buildings, to help meet local housing needs “more efficiently”, per the government.

On behalf of councils in England and Wales, the LGA has said the rule alteration could cause a “dramatic increase” in the amount of conversions without needing planning permission.

This in turn leads to a lack of input towards:

  • local services,
  • infrastructure,
  • affordable housing.

There is a 46% figure of agricultural-to-residential conversions, per the LGA.

Additionally, throughout the past two years, the “potential loss” of 7,644 affordable homes has been seen due to permitted development, according to LGA research.

It has been requested by council leaders that the government remove permitted development rules.

To guarantee community needs are achieved, it is sought that local communities are permitted to have an input regarding development in their local area.

Councils desire additional affordable houses, erected faster, says housing spokesperson for the LGA, Martin Tett.

Having said this, it has also been stated by Tett that it is “vital” for councils and communities have a say in the planning process.

“We have seen an enormous jump in the number of offices being converted into flats in our urban areas, accounting for one in 10 new homes last year and more than 30 per cent of new homes in many of our urban areas. Planning is not a barrier to housebuilding, and councils are approving nine in 10 planning applications. But it is essential that councils, which are answerable to their residents, have an oversight of local developments to ensure that they are good quality and help build prosperous places.”

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Paul AddisonPressure Builds on Villages Following Barn Conversion Rule Changes

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