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Hot Topic Highlight – Class Q Permitted Development Right



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What is today's blog about?


In this week’s blog, we take a look at Class Q permitted development rights.


This is essential reading for RICS APC and AssocRICS candidates with any involvement in the planning process or agricultural buildings.


What are permitted development rights?


Permitted development rights allow certain types of building works and changes of use

to be carried out without planning permission being required.


They are set out by the Town & Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015.


There are some ‘designated areas’ where permitted development rights do not apply or are restricted, usually by an Article 4 direction being in force. These areas include conservation areas, National Parks, World Heritage Sites and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.


Some permitted development rights require a prior approval process to be followed. This allows the Local Planning Authority to consider the impact of the proposals on the local area, e.g., in relation to noise or accessibility.


What is Class Q?


Class Q is a permitted development right specifically relating to the conversion of agricultural buildings to residential use (Use Class C3). It does not apply to listed buildings or agricultural buildings located in ‘designated areas’.

It also permits building operations reasonably necessary for the conversion to function as a dwelling, such as:

  • The installation or replacement of windows, doors, roofs, exterior walls, water, drainage, electric, gas and other services

  • Partial demolition to the extent reasonably necessary to carry out building operations


The right was introduced in 2014 to increase the supply of housing in rural areas.


There are a number of limitations and conditions relating to Class Q:

  • No more than five separate dwellings can be created

  • Up to three of the five dwellings can be larger dwellings (100-465 sq m)

  • Larger dwellings can total no more than 465 sq m of floor space and no single dwelling can exceed 465 sq m


Class Q requires the prior approval process to be followed. This is based on consideration of the impact of:

  • Transport and highways

  • Noise

  • Contamination

  • Flood risk

  • Location and situation

  • Design and external appearance

  • Provision of adequate natural light


How can we help?


Stay tuned for our next blog post to help build a better you.


N.b. Nothing in this article constitutes legal, professional or financial advice.