Class Q Barn Conversion Granted Permission in Rural Essex

<-- Back to News Page January 22, 2020

We are really pleased that Colchester Borough Council has given permission for the conversion of an existing barn to create a new residential dwelling.

The barn in question is of 20th Century construction, with a steel frame and metal cladding. The local planning policies are very strict in respect to barn conversions, and do not normally allow the conversion of barns of this particular character to residential use within this location. However, through Class Q, we were able to demonstrate that the conversion to a residential dwelling was acceptable.

Class Q is a form of permitted development, that subject to various criteria, allows the change of use of agricultural buildings to residential use. This permitted development does however, require prior approval from the local authority. This process takes 56 days.

We undertook a systematic approach to this application that demonstrated that each of the key criteria under Class Q had been met. Of the criteria, critically, we were able to demonstrate that the building was structurally sound and capable of conversion.

Class Q permitted development provides an excellent opportunity to secure the conversion of a barn or other agricultural building, when normal planning policies may otherwise be restrictive.

Class Q also allows the conversion of existing buildings into multiple dwellings. For example, it is possible to convert existing buildings to create five smaller houses of 100 sqm or three larger properties, provided that the overall quantum of floorspace to be converted does not exceed 465 sqm. It may be possible to convert more than 465 sqm of floorspace, if a combination of smaller and larger properties were to be sought and no more than five individual dwellings were to be created.

If you are thinking about converting a rural building, please contact us at to discuss your development project further.

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ADP Ltd, Hophouse, Colchester Road, West Bergholt, Colchester, Essex, CO6 3TJ