Farmers and landowners have welcomed new planning guidance from the Government on how councils should consider applications from farmers and landowners to convert redundant agricultural buildings into homes.
The guidance has been published following sustained pressure from the CLA, which represents landowners, farmers and rural businesses, and addresses the right way for councils to interpret Class MB Permitted Development Rights (PDRs).
The CLA said that new advice from the Department for Communities and Local Government will make it clearer when it is possible to change the use of former agricultural buildings into residential properties, which in turn will help to deliver beneficial economic growth and much needed new homes in rural areas.
CLA President Henry Robinson said: “Since the agricultural buildings PDRs came into force there has been significant demand from farmers and landowners to convert buildings on their land, but they have found themselves frustrated by inconsistent and unduly restrictive decisions to refuse conversions across the country.
“That is why we have been determined to get Ministers to clarify the law so that all involved know where they stand when it comes to implementing the regulations. We are optimistic that this guidance will go a significant way to addressing our concerns.
“We need new homes in our countryside and the conversion of agricultural buildings will play an important part in meeting that need.”