Class Q approval for barn conversion close to listed buildings

An inspector granted Class Q prior approval for a modern Devon barn to be converted to three houses after deciding there would be no harm to the setting of nearby listed farmyard buildings.

Paragraph Q.2 requires developers to apply to the local planning authority as to whether prior approval is required for a range of factors including (e) whether the location or siting of the building makes it otherwise impractical or undesirable for the building to change from agricultural use to a use falling within Class C3 (dwelling houses). The council had refused prior approval under (e) on the grounds of the location of the barn within the setting of a listed farmhouse and cottages.

The proposals involved demolition of one large steel frame farm building and conversion of another including removing part of the roof to leave an open-sided, covered parking area. The inspector considered a reduction in the mass of bulky buildings, increased openness and enhanced appearance of the retained and converted barn would improve the setting of the heritage assets. In addition, neither a neater and more domestic appearance, nor loss of the agricultural function of the building would lead to a loss of significance. As curtilages would be constrained to a shallow buffer strip around the outside of the building, there was little  possibility of domestic paraphernalia undermining the rural character of the area without further express consent. She allowed the appeal and granted prior approval.

Inspector: Hollie Nicholls; Written representations

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