Latest Public Sector News

23.09.19

Rural areas concern as number of barn conversions without planning rise

Rural areas have seen a spike in the number of barns and farm buildings being turned into homes. Over the past three years there has been an almost 230 per cent increase on these transformations happening, all without the need for planning permission.

Latest figures show the number of agricultural to residential conversions in England has risen from 226 to 743 in two years, mostly in rural areas.

Currently, under the permitted development right, developers are able to side-step the planning system when converting the barns, but this has sparked fears that they are missing out on essential infrastructure and the necessary building standards.

The lack of planning means locals councils cannot control how well the homes are built and whether or not they are structurally sound.

The Local Government Association, which represents councils in England and Wales, is concerned that rural areas in particular are foregoing vital infrastructure and affordable housing that any other development would need prior to action.

The LGA have suggested using the Queen’s Speech to promote the abandoning of the permitted development right and for local communities to be given more control when it comes to new building conversions in their area.

Last year the government extended the number of homes that could be built from agricultural buildings without planning permission from three to five.

The result of this is the number or conversions more than doubling in the space of a year, from 330 to 743. 

Councils have also seen a surge in homes being created out of storage or distribution buildings, with four times as many last year as three years ago.

Councillor David Renard, the LGA’s planning spokesman, said: “We have concerns over the sharp rise in agricultural buildings being converted into homes without planning permission and the impact this is having on rural areas, given the lack of any requirement for developers to provide infrastructure or contribute to investment in local services such as roads or schools.”

“Councils, which are approving nine in 10 planning applications, are committed to building the thousands of new homes the country needs, but these have to be of high quality and with the right infrastructure in place.”

“It is taking away the voice of local residents who need to be allowed to have their say over any developments in the streets and neighbourhoods where they live.”

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been the r more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News

comment

Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues t... more >

interviews

Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need ... more >

the raven's daily blog

NSPCC: Working together to improve the support available for children who have been sexually abused

08/10/2019NSPCC: Working together to improve the support available for children who have been sexually abused

Hayley Clark, the acting head of development and impact at the NSPCC, talks about the significant gap in support services for children who have been sexually abused and the Ho... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... read more >