Consultation on Change of Use

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Consultation on Change of Use for agricultural buildings

August 2012

change of use agricultural buildings

The Government has published ‘New opportunities for sustainable development and growth through the reuse of existing buildings’ this is a consultation under which the Government is looking at reforms to the planning system to support sustainable growth and streamline the often lengthy and complicated planning process.

The consultation looks at changes to permitted development rights which could eventually see agricultural buildings within certain categories going ahead without the need for planning permission and also a potential extension to prior ratification.
 
The drive behind this policy is that Government is seeking to allow further diversification in rural areas to support economic growth through the reuse of agricultural buildings. Proposals look to include buildings which have full planning permission or permission under prior notification, which are already in existence.
 
The type of uses they are looking to encourage would be workshops, offices, storage, food processing, cafes and leisure they would be implemented without the need to submit a planning application providing opportunities for other rural businesses to expand and grow without delay and other costs.
 
There will most certainly be certain exceptions to these proposals to include such things as listed buildings and scheduled monuments, development requiring an environmental impact assessment of development where the land is contaminated.
 
It is anticipated this could save millions of pounds on an annual basis both to local planning authorities, farmers and land owners and would speed up the overall planning process. It also would have the added benefit for grant aided schemes, as it would not cause delay and will mean that initiatives can be taken forward within the time scales required rather than being driven by outside factors.
 
At long last it would seem that the Government are looking seriously at the rural economy and reusing assets within the countryside to the benefit of all. This offers a significant opportunity to add value to rural assets and to look at alternative uses and therefore increase the financial viability of farms and estates. This will hopefully no longer delay and hinder enterprises as it will remove a lot of the associated costs and uncertainty that comes with a full planning application” says William Young.
 
The current consultation runs to the 11 September 2012 and looks specifically at what use categories should be included,  whether thresholds should be applied and whether there should be exceptions to safeguard sensitive situations.  For further information please contact William Young at Fisher German on 01858 410200 email william.young@fishergerman.co.uk.
 
Click here to read further information on the planning changes.
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