CLA Midlands regional director Caroline Bedell said: "We have lobbied successive governments for nearly a decade to allow disused barns and other agricultural outbuildings to be eligible for redevelopment under permitted development rights.
"This is a substantial victory and great news for the rural economy. It means farmers and landowners can use redundant agricultural buildings for new growth-boosting ventures such as shops, restaurants, small hotels, leisure facilities and offices without having to go through the whole planning application process, which can be both difficult and costly. Our members will now be able to consider development projects in the knowledge that they will no longer fail at the first hurdle."
Defra has worked with the Department of Communities and Local Government to bring about the change which also carries a decision to allow redundant offices to be converted to homes under the General Permitted Development Rights Order for the next three years.
Mrs Bedell added: "This will give more flexibility for owners of redundant office buildings to provide much-needed homes in rural areas. Taken together the whole raft of changes will help to underpin farming businesses and boost the rural economy across the region."