Class Q Development

Class Q Permitted Development allows redundant or disused agricultural buildings, a new lease of life. How can you make the most of an opportunity like this?

What is Class Q?

You don’t have to go far to find redundant farm buildings that could be transformed into stunning barn conversions. In 201, Class Q Permitted Development was introduced, which allows the change of certain agricultural buildings for residential use without the need to go through the full planning permission process.

Class Q Permitted Development Rights – what’s allowed?

The rules around Class Q state that the regulations can be applied to buildings that have been used for agriculture on or before 20th March 2013, excluding buildings in National Parks, AONB, conservation areas, or those that are listed.

Regulations stated:

  • You can create up to five dwellings when converting existing buildings using a total floor space of up to 850sqm.
  • You cannot extend the building beyond its existing size.
  • The garden area cannot be any bigger than the building footprint itself.
  • You can install or replace windows, doors, the roof, exterior walls, and utility services to the extent necessary for the building to be used as a home.
  • You can undertake partial demolition if necessary.
  • You cannot introduce new foundations or loadbearing floor slabs, so in some circumstances, it may be difficult to add the first floor.

Class Q allows you to convert the least homely of structures, for example, a hay barn – into something beautiful, modern, and valuable.

Our Planning and Architecture team at Sheldon Bosley Knight have experience in projects of all types and sizes and a proven track record of maximising the value of rural buildings. Whether you are thinking of selling to raise some capital or developing yourself, as a long-term income stream, we are happy to advise.

Case Study

Conversion of agricultural building to a residential dwelling.

Change of use under Class Q agricultural building to a residential dwelling.

  • The building won a Building Excellence award for Best Conversion of an Existing Building, presented by Stratford District Council in conjunction with the Building Control Department.
  • The curved roof was specifically designed for the building.
  • Due to policy changes, the process from initial inspection to occupation of the dwelling took a total of three years.


Contact our Planning & Architecture team here to book a consultation