Many will be aware of opportunities previously available under “Class Q” to convert agricultural buildings to residential units. Well last month the threshold of opportunity increased from providing up to 3 dwellings to up to 5 dwellings. The extent of floor area available for conversion has also increased and this provides a greater prospect of maximising unit sizes (or using this as leverage to propose an entirely new build residential scheme). So, whether you are yet to explore the Class Q potential or have already done so and are hungry for more; exciting times lie ahead to capitalise on your assets.

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Readers will more than likely be familiar with using the 28-day Prior Notification procedure that has been in place for some time to allow farmers with a holding of over 5ha to apply for agricultural barns of up to 465m2 in size. Well the situation just got a whole lot bigger and better, with size thresholds being increased to a 1,000m2.

But, approach both with caution as the order of events is as important as ever and utilising one of these new changes can preclude the ability to use the other in the foreseeable.

Amongst others, further changes came in which also relate to the ability to change storage units to residential uses!

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