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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

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Planning Success Following a Re-Think of the Scheme

Stratford Garage Scheme June 2019

Stratford Garage Scheme June 2019On June 25th 2019 the Planning & Architecture Department at Sheldon Bosley Knight received planning consent for the erection of 4 dwellings on a site of former garages in Stratford upon Avon.

The site had recently been featured in the Stratford Herald after local residents raised concerns that the dilapidated garages, which were boarded up and covered in graffiti, were becoming a hub for antisocial behaviour and drug taking and that the Council, by refusing a previous application to redevelop the site in 2017, were obstructing progress and exacerbating this issue.

Sheldon Bosley Knight were tasked with preparing a revised scheme in response to the similar 2017 application for 5 units on the site. The new scheme included 4 units; three 3-bedroom and one 2-bedroom, which were a mixture of semi-detached and detached properties.

Previously the Council had been concerned that adequate garden space could not be achieved for each of the proposed dwellings. We re-designed the layout of the scheme to give each proposed dwelling a garden area well in excess of the Council’s guidelines thereby removing the only reason for refusal.

Working closely with Stratford on Avon District Council we created a scheme that was policy compliant and made the best use of the site. There were no objections to the scheme and it was approved under Delegated Powers.

For more information about the Sheldon Bosley Knight Planning Department please contact the team on 01789 387887 or visit the Planning and Architectural pages of our website.

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Converting Potential into Planning Permission

barn conversions before and after - Sheldon Bosley Knight

Recent changes in planning policy mean it is now easier than ever to get planning permission on unused, rural buildings.

Planning permission provides you with a more valuable asset and the opportunity to sell or build.  The planning process can be testing at times but our award-winning team includes senior and experienced planners and architectural technicians, capable of providing a full end-to-end service to assist our clients in securing the necessary permissions.  The graphic below explains the full process right through to sale of the new property.

the Planning Process

barn conversions before and after - Sheldon Bosley KnightOnce permission is approved the team can assist  with the preparation of building regulations drawings, preparation of tender documentation to approved contractors, contract administration, monthly valuations and once complete, we will market and sell the property on your behalf.

Our team has experience in barn conversions throughout the Stratford, Warwick and Cotswold Districts and last year they won the “Best Conversion of an Existing Building” category at the LABC – Local Authority Building Control Building Excellence Awards 2017 in conjunction with Stratford-on-Avon District Council.

Even if you haven’t the appetite or resources available to pursue an opportunity yourself but would consider a sale of a building suitable for conversion we have a range of options that you may wish to consider.

For more information please email Daniel Jackson, Director, in full confidence at

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From Hovel to Home

Barn Conversion - original farm building

Barn Conversion - original farm buildingThe SBK Planning Team were successful in gaining planning permission under Class Q of the Permitted Development Order for the conversion of a small agricultural building on the Walton Estate to a dwelling.

This project required our comprehensive support including initial planning advice and consultation, drawing up of the designs, preparation of the application and submission of the plans to Stratford District Council for approval – our full service!

Do you have a similar building that you are considering for conversion and would like some advice?

If so, please give the team a call on 01789 292310.Barn Conversion Plans



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What’s going on in the world of Planning?

Planning Permission - Alderminster Visual Rear

Here at SBK, our Planning and Architectural team are on the front line dealing with a variety of planning works, large and small. Here’s a snapshot of what’s going on at the moment:

Planning Application Fee Increases and Permission in Principle

Lady and plans for new buildingThe Government has now introduced a 20% increase in planning application fees. This came into effect as at January 17th. The regulations introducing the fee increase were approved by the House of Lords’ Grand Committee in December 2017.  Under the previous fee schedule a full application for a single dwelling would incur a fee of £385, this has now increased to £462 under the new fee regime.

The regulations also included an order to allow developers to submit applications to local planning authorities for Permission in Principle (PiP). It splits the application process in two, so that the residential development can secure PiP first, achieving full consent through further technical details consent at a later date. The aim is to provide a more streamlined fast-track planning process, in the hopes of speeding up housing delivery.

Cabinet Reshuffle

As part of Theresa May’s January 2018 cabinet reshuffle Sajid Javid has gained a new title and will be known in future as the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, his department will be similarly renamed.

In addition Brexiteer Dominic Raab has been appointed as the new housing minister. His track record is strongly pro-Green Belt, illustrating that any weakening of Green Belt protection by the Government is off the table.

News Closer to Home

Planning Permission - Alderminster Visual Rear
Alderminster Rear View
Planning Permission - Alderminster Visual Front
Alderminster Front View

The Bellway Homes planning application for 99 units at Bordon Hill, just outside Stratford-upon-Avon was refused by Stratford District Council last week. The proposed scheme included the provision of 35 affordable residential units in line with Core Strategy policy.

The scheme was refused by the Case Officer on a number of grounds including its location outside of the defined Built-up Area Boundary of Stratford-upon-Avon and its negative impact on the open countryside.

The District Council still maintains that it can demonstrate a Five Year Housing Land Supply of 6.67 years as calculated at 31st March 2017.

Likewise, the Kler Group were also dismissed at appeal for their scheme of up to 240 dwellings for similar reasons. It’s clear that Stratford District currently have a robust development plan to resist speculative schemes, but with a heavy reliance on Long Marston Airfield and Gaydon Lighthorne Heath to deliver houses going forward, it will be interesting to see how long this will last.

A wave of neighbourhood plans in Stratford District are set to be formally adopted or progress to referendum. When formally adopted, Neighbourhood Plans carry significant weight in planning decisions.

Planning Permission - School Farm Barn
School Farm Barn
Planning Permission - School Farm Barn North Warwickshire
School Farm Barn

SBK’s Approvals

We’re all very busy at the moment with a cluster of new instructions coming through during January.

Recent highlights include approvals for a modern barn conversion in North Warwickshire, (pictured) which was approved earlier this week, as well as approval for a new dwelling in Alderminster for a private client designed by our architectural team (pictured above).

If you have any planning requirements, large or small, give us a call on 01789 292310.

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Planning Case Study – Pitched Roof Garage with Home Office

Latchetts Ullenhall - Planning Permission - Pitched Roof Garage with Home Office

Latchetts Ullenhall - Planning Permission - Pitched Roof Garage with Home OfficeOur client wanted to create space for a home office on their property.

The property had an existing flat roofed garage and it was decided that replacing the existing roof with a pitched roof would provide the much needed loft space for the home office.

existing garage ullenhall - planning permission - case studyChallenges:
The property is located within the Green Belt meaning that there are more planning constraints imposed on extensions.

The application had no neighbourhood objections and was supported by the Statutory Consultees, notably the Parish Council.

The application was subsequently approved by the Case Officer on the 27th July 2016.

The Planning Specialist was  Daniel Jackson RTPI and the Chartered Technician was Nadia Amietszajew ACIAT.

Click here to view or download the case study.

For more information about our planning and architectural design services please contact Sam Russell at 

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Planning Event – 17th August 2017

Planning Event August 2017

Planning Event August 2017Are you thinking of adding value to your home? Maybe you have a project on the horizon?

If you have any queries or would simply like to know more about how our planning service could benefit you, then come along to our special Planning Event on Thursday 17th August 2017.

Our planning experts Sam Russell and Daniel Jackson, both directors of SBK, will be available from 4pm – 7pm at our Kenilworth branch to answer your questions.

Please feel free to bring along any photos, plans and ideas that have and Sam and Daniel will be happy to assist you.

There are so many different stages and types of planning that can involve a lot of work but we cover it all for you.

Pop in and see us on Thursday 17th August 2017 between 4pm – 7pm at our Kenilworth branch, 9 The Square, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 1EF

Tel:  01926 857595

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Planning Case Study – Extension and Replacement Garage

Extension and Replacement Garage Case Study - Lower Quinton

Extension and Replacement Garage Case Study - Lower QuintonOur client wanted to provide some additional accommodation for their family and was applying for permission to build a two storey rear extension and a replacement garage on their property located on Main Street, Lower Quinton.


The extension was designed to be in keeping with the materials and style of the area and allowed for the reconfiguration of the internal layout of the dwelling, which was more suitable for the growing family. The garage provided additional storage for the property.


WCC Ecology requested bat and nesting bird informatives to ensure that there were no species present in the garage when it was demolished.

There were four neighbourhood objections including one neighbour disputing the ownership of the land. It was pointed out that this was not a planning concern. However a copy of the deeds to demonstrate that the land was owned by the applicant was provided.

Notice was also served under Article 11 on the adjoining property. This settled any further concerns the Planning Officer had over the application.


There were no Statutory Consultees objections to the application and planning permission was subsequently granted by the Case Officer on the 4th of August 2016.

The Planning Specialist was Peter Leamy.

Click here to view or download the case study.

For more information about our planning and architectural design services please contact Sam Russell at 

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Planning Case Study – New Build

Planning Permission Case Study - Walton, Warwickshire

Planning Permission Case Study - Walton, WarwickshireThis was a complicated Planning Application that had to be taken one step at a time to reach the goal that was presented to us.


The bespoke dwelling was required by our client who also owns the house and redundant agricultural buildings in close proximity.

A Planning Consent was gained for the demolition of two cottages and the lifting of one residential curtilage and placing on to one of the agricultural buildings to form one dwelling. The second dwelling curtilage was retained on the existing site of the two cottages and the bespoke dwelling was granted as a replacement dwelling.

A second Planning Application was then submitted for the re-design of this dwelling to change the vernacular to something that was more in keeping and which also included a timber framed double carport and store.


The challenges that this particular project presented were firstly the lifting of two residential curtilages and placing one of those curtilages on a separate site to gain our first application and then the subsequent second application was to detach the previous application that was tied to the now granted barn conversion to make one standalone Planning Application for one site for one dwelling. This was a complicated process, but ultimately was successful.

The site also had a natural spring within it which we needed to ensure was diverted around our site and did not cause any further damage than it had previously to the two existing dwellings to our new bespoke dwelling; with the help from the contractor, this was achievable.


The applications were granted and the Planning Department were happy with the splitting of the original Planning Consent to form two separate Planning Consents and the bespoke dwelling that was delivered has now enhanced the site and sits well in its surroundings, achieving a family home which is economical to run and will be sustainable for the future.

The Planning Specialist was Sam Russell MFPWS MCIAT ARICS and the Chartered Technician was Panya Chaonsri.

Click here to view or download the case study.

For more information about our planning and architectural design services please contact Sam Russell at 

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Planning Case Study – Two Storey Rear Extension

Case Study - Planning Permission - Broad St Stratford on Avon

Case Study - Planning Permission - Broad St Stratford on AvonOur client was looking to extend their property with a two storey extension to the rear together with various interior alterations.


The applicant bought the two bedroom property in Broad Street, Stratford-upon-Avon with the intention of constructing a two storey rear extension to create a 3rd bedroom on the first floor and a larger kitchen/dining area on the ground floor.

The proposal involved the removal of the existing ground floor additions and garden room and their replacement with a two storey brick extension.

A first floor was only added on the right hand side of the dwelling due to the distance separation guidelines.


Due to the property’s location within the Stratford-upon-Avon Conservation Area D a Heritage Statement was required to evaluate the impacts of the proposal on the designated area.

Similarly the location within the ‘Old Town’ prompted the District Council to request that an Archaeological Assessment be conducted to ascertain whether the development would cause adverse impact to any potentially significant archaeological remains

The Heritage Statement and the Archaeological Assessment were provided to the Stratford District Council and the application was consequently validated.


There were two neighbourhood objections from the adjacent property, there were no objections from the Statutory Consultees, including the Town Council and the application was subsequently approved by the Case Officer.

The Planning Specialist was Daniel Jackson RTPI.

Click here to view or download the case study.

For more information about our planning and architectural design services please contact Sam Russell at 

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Planning Case Study – Change of Use from Shop to Restaurant

Great Western Arcade Birmingham

Great Western Arcade BirminghamThis project involved a change of use application from A1 (shop) to A3 (restaurant).


The site is located within the Great Western Arcade (GWA) in Birmingham and is currently a shop, whereas the applicant wants to open a small restaurant on the premises.


An application was submitted under Class E of the GPDO, however this was not validated as the GWA had been listed. Full and listed building consent applications were then submitted.

Although the change of use related to only internal alterations, external elevation drawings were requested before validation of the full application and listed building consent could occur.

The Case Officer requested additional information on the specification and model of the proposed oven to inform their decision, which was provided.


There were no objections to the proposals from Statutory Consultees or neighbours.

No conditions were attached to the applications by Birmingham City Council.

The applications were subsequently granted by the Case Officer on 11th October 2016.

The Planning Specialist was Daniel Jackson RTPI and the Architectural Technician was Dorota Woloszynska MSc.

Click here to view or download the case study.

For more information about our planning and architectural design services please contact Sam Russell at 

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Planning Case Study – Conversion of Agricultural Buildings to Residential

Planning Permission - Permitted Development

Our client requested our assistance in obtaining planning permission for the conversion of agricultural buildings to residential under Permitted Development (Class Q).

Two of the buildings are traditional brick barns with pitched tiled roofs and the third is a steel portal framed building with brick walls and a corrugated roof.


bockendon-grange-farm-permitted-development-planning-permissionThe conversion of a barn (barn A) into a dwelling was first refused in 2004 and at appeal in 2005. Since then the General Permitted Development Order has come into effect with the purpose of bringing redundant buildings back into use.

When the Government revised the GPDO to include the conversion of agricultural buildings to residential use, it presented an opportunity to convert these barns using a specific National Policy.

Demolition Consent was approved in 2013 to remove the agricultural buildings in close proximity to the barns.

The GPDOs for the three barns were originally refused prior approval under the GPDO in 2014 because the buildings are located in an isolated location. However, the Planning Practice Guidance Paragraph 105 states that isolation can no longer be used as a reason to
refuse an application.

Class Q (a) was subsequently approved in December 2015.


  • The agricultural buildings were in an isolated location and therefore contrary to paragraph 55 of the National Planning Policy Framework.
  • Agricultural buildings used for farming enterprise located in close proximity to the proposed buildings for conversion.

Having submitted the GPDO for the conversion of the barns, Burton Green Parish Council made no objection.

The Case Officer made a couple of requests regarding changes to window materials and design which were then amended in the plans.

The applications were approved without further question, thereby granting approval for the conversion of three buildings that had been refused just two years prior.

The Planning Specialist was Natasha Blackmore da Silva MSc.

Click here to view or download the case study.

For more information about our planning and architectural design services please contact Sam Russell at