In April 2014, the Town and Country Planning General Permitted Development Order (GPDO) enabled conversion of some agricultural buildings to residential without a full planning application.
However, many applications were rejected on the basis of ‘size’ and ‘isolation’. On 5th March 2015 changes were made to the Planning Practice Guidance to clarify these aspects of barn conversions, which should facilitate approvals.
Be aware that you may still need a bat survey – even for GPDO: Bats are protected under European legislation which overrides planning approval. Hefty fines and delays can occur if you don’t address possibility of bats being impacted at an early stage of the project.
Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, stated in June 2014:
“All development, including under permitted development rights, must comply with all relevant legislation and regulations. This includes EU regulations such as the Conservation of Species and Habitats Regulations 2010’.
Call agb Environmental Principal Ecologist, Odette Robson on 01638 663226 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, to discuss if your building conversion may need an assessment for bats.