Published: Thursday, 18th February 2016
Ministers have launched a rural planning review to reduce regulatory burdens in support of new homes, jobs and innovation.
This initiative was signalled in last year’s Rural Productivity Plan.
A key element of this exercise centres on the rules for converting agricultural buildings to residential use. Following changes introduced in 2014 more than 2,000 agricultural buildings have been converted to homes.
The administration is interested in views over whether the current thresholds should be changed further. These limit change of use to a maximum of 450 square metres of floor space and up to three additional dwellings across the farm.
The administration has made it clear it is interested in how the permitted development rights in Part 6 of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 are being used. Also of interest is how the planning system helps or hinders those developing farm shops, polytunnels and on-farm reservoirs.
Communities Secretary Greg Clark said: “The need for new homes doesn’t stop where our cities end, it’s just as real in rural towns and villages that need new house building to keep thriving.
“That’s why we are looking carefully at how our planning reforms can deliver this whilst at the same time ensuring local people have more control over planning and the Green Belt continues to be protected.”