Planning Update: Class Q agricultural buildings to residential use

Published March 2nd, 2018

New guidance has this week been issued by Central Government in respect of the regulations for Class Q permitted development rights, which allow agricultural buildings to be converted for residential use.

Since the introduction of Class Q in 2014 there has been much debate and confusion about the extent of works that are allowed to convert an agricultural building to residential use. Much of this has centred on whether structural works are permitted and whether the existing building is structurally sound enough to support any required structural works. This led to many applications being refused because they were proposing internal works to structurally support the building and/or create a first floor.

The newly issued guidance now essential states that internal works will not be controlled by the Class Q regulations.

‘Internal works are not generally development. For the building to function as a dwelling it may be appropriate to undertake internal structural works, including to allow for a floor, the insertion of a mezzanine or upper floors within the overall residential floor space permitted, or internal walls, which are not prohibited by Class Q’.


This should now hopefully resolve some of the main reasons why some Councils have refused Class Q development applications.

For further detailed advice on a Class Q conversions of an agricultural building to residential use please contact;

Graham Clark, Hereford Office: 01544 598 083

Nick Williams, Shrewsbury Office: 01743 267061

Val Colby, Kettering Office: 01536 532388

Jo Townson, Northwich Office: 01606 818956