Conversion tantamount to new building works

The conversion of a former livestock building at a farm in Buckinghamshire to three dwellings would not fall within Under Class MB of Part 1 to Schedule 2 of the GPDO 1995 because they would involve the erection of a new building, an inspector has ruled.

The appeal building was constructed partly of brick and partly of timber under a tiled roof. New external walls would be constructed along with appropriate foundations which, the council alleged, took the works outside the scope of Class MB. It also stated that the site was in a remote location and would lead to an unsustainable form of development. As well as the new walls, the roof would be replaced, the inspector noted, and this would be slightly lower in height. In her opinion whilst the order allowed for the replacement of walls and roofs, since no part of the existing building would be retained it could not comprise a conversion of an existing barn. This meant that it fell outside the scope of Class MB.

Notwithstanding this conclusion the site lay six miles from Bedford and nine from Milton Keynes. It was accessed via a track and while there were various villages within three miles there was little information on the services and facilities they provided. In her view it would not represent a sustainable location and in addition, since the holding already contained three dwellings, it would breach the threshold set down in paragraph MB.1(c) of the order.

Inspector: Isobel McCretton; Written representations

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