The rural economy has and will continue to change. Diversification of land and buildings can facilitate business expansion providing sustainable alternative income whilst maximising property assets. There may be buildings that have outlived their farming/rural usefulness. Some of these structures may be too derelict or too small to offer scope for re-use, whereas others may be structurally sound, or made so easily, and offer greater potential for conversion. The conversion of agricultural buildings to residential use, and in particular more modern buildings, has come under much criticism since the adoption of Class Q Permitted Development Rights. It is evident though through recent television programmes such as Grand Designs for example, that there are significant benefits and in many cases the history of the buildings retained. It is clear that much can be gained through retention and conversion, and in some cases replacement using the fall-back planning argument.
The ‘before and after’ images depicted is one of many cases that Acorus has been actively involved. From an initial instruction to consider the diversification options and feasibility of utilising a range of mixed buildings, we proceeded to design a scheme and submit a Class Q proposal. These are never straightforward applications particularly given planning policy generally does not encourage residential uses in rural areas. However, through a robust proposal and sound professional advice the scheme received approval. Acorus progressed with the preparation of construction drawings and advised the client on the tender and contract management stages. The conversion to form two residential conversions of an exceptionally high standard has enabled the retention of these buildings and provided additional rural housing into the area. In total, consent for eleven dwellings was obtained on the site.
Acorus are a national company specialising in rural development. We are a ‘one stop shop’ offering clients a turn-key solution based on planning, design, project management and property sales. For more information on Class Q, visit here. If you have a proposal you would like to discuss, please contact us here.