Today provisions that will allow agricultural buildings to be converted into residential dwellings under the General Permitted Development Order (permitted developments do not need full planning approval) came into force.
Whilst on the face of it this is good news, allowing up to 450 m2 of agricultural building that was in agricultural use prior to 3rd July 2013 to be converted into up to 3 dwellings, exclusions apply within National Parks, AONB’s and Conservation Area’s. New doors, windows and services are all provided for within the new rules.
‘Prior Approval’ may still be required by the local authority and there is scope for them to consider ‘whether to location or siting of the building makes it otherwise impractical or undesirable for the building to change from agricultural use’. Clearly there is room for interpretation here and different authorities will have different views on what is acceptable – watch this space over the coming months!
Whilst for many this will seems a sensible and pragmatic solution to housing provision, there is likely to be value implications even if no action to obtain change of use is taken straightaway. The increase in ‘hope’ value – the amount that some might attribute to the risk of releasing a potentially significant uplift in value – should not be ignored and should be accounted for in any succession plans. Also, where a change of use is proposed, consideration should be given to ownership or occupation of the asset post development in order that value and taxation issues can be mitigated in advance.