Data blog: barn conversion refusal rates revealed

Figures published last month revealed that the publication of updated practice guidance had prompted a 31 per cent reduction in barn conversion refusal rates. Planning's Data Blog takes a closer look at the figures.

Agricultural building: figures show decline in barn conversion refusals under permitted development rights

The data, published by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), shows a drop in the proportion of prior approval applications lodged under agricultural-to-residential permitted development rights that are being refused by local planning authorities.

According to the figures, 58 per cent of such applications were refused in the final quarter of 2014, dropping to 53 per cent in the first quarter of 2015, falling again to 40 per cent in the second quarter (see infographic, below).

An analysis of the data, carried out by Planning, reveals wide differences in refusal rates between local planning authorities over the period for which data is available (April 2014 to June 2015).

According to the analysis, some authorities have refused a high proportion of barn conversion prior approval applications, such as Derbyshire Dales (94.4 per cent), Maldon (88.9 per cent), Winchester (88.9 per cent), Mid Suffolk (87 per cent) and King’s Lynn and West Norfolk (84.4 per cent).

But refusal rates elsewhere are much lower, Planning’s analysis has found. South Oxfordshire District Council, for example, did not refuse any applications over the 15-month period, while Suffolk Coastal District Council refused only 7.1 per cent.

Full data from Planning’s analysis, including the number of applications decided and refused by each local planning authority in England, is contained in the table below.