Excessive curtilage prevents barn conversion as permitted development

A proposal for two dwellings from an agricultural barn in open countryside in Cheshire was refused and deemed not permitted development under Class Q of Schedule 2, Part 3 of the GPDO for exceeding the curtilage limits set by paragraph X.

The council refused the application on the basis that the change of use would not be permitted development having regard to the building operations proposed and the size of the proposed curtilage. The proposal included alterations such as new exterior walls, windows, doors, roofing and internal works.The council believed this amounted to substantial re-building rather than reasonable works necessary to undertake the conversion. But the appellant had submitted a structural survey report which confirmed the structure of the existing building was adequate for the proposed additional loadings and, referring to Hibbitt v. SSCLG, 2016, the inspector held that the nature of the works proposed did not amount to re-building and the development would comply with Class Q (b).

In considering the issue of the curtilage, the inspector referred to the definition in the GPDO which states it constitutes "(a) the piece of land, whether enclosed or unenclosed, immediately beside or around the agricultural building, closely associated with and serving the purposes of the agricultural building, or (b) an area of land immediately beside or around the agricultural building no larger than the land area occupied by the agricultural building, whichever is the lesser". In the appeal situation, the red line area outlined in the application drawings did not include car parking areas and if these were included, the entire curtilage area would be greater than the floorspace of the barn. On this basis, the inspector concluded the proposal would not constitute permitted development under Class Q and dismissed the appeal.

Inspector: Wayne Johnson; Written representations

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