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Barn conversions boost

Barns could be converted to alternative uses without the need for planning permission under a new government proposal.

(Source: Knight Frank, 03 Aug 2012)

The government is proposing that property owners be allowed to convert disused barns to alternative uses that can be classed as ‘low impact business use’ without the need for planning permission. Proposed uses include shops, restaurants, hotels and ‘leisure’.

The proposed changes, which are under consultation until 11 September, are part of the government’s desire to create sustainable development and growth through the reuse of existing buildings.

If adopted, they will widen the permitted development rights that already exist for homeowners. These allow some development, including extensions that meet certain criteria, to be constructed without the need for planning permission. However, Building Regulations approval is still usually required, except for very simple buildings, for example a small garage or conservatory.

If this proposal is adopted it will assist in boosting the rural economy by making it easier to convert buildings and create jobs in the countryside.

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