Duncan Lewis

Residential Property

Commercial Property

Plans are being laid down to allow the usage of barns into shops, cafes etc without requiring any planning permission

Date: (4 July 2012)    |    

Total Comments: (0)    |    Add Comments

New measures to boost the rural economy is on the anvil with the Planning Minister Greg Clark saying that landowners could be allowed to convert barns, which are not being used, into shops, cafes and even rock music venues which would not require any planning permission.
Mr Clark said that the controversial idea would make it easier for firms and entrepreneurs to create jobs in the countryside.
The measure is part of a package published yesterday aimed at speeding up the planning system and cutting red tape for businesses wanting to expand and diversify.

The new proposals would also make it easier to find better usefulness of abandoned shops in town centres and high streets.
It would also force speeding up of the decisions by the planners and give developers the right to claim costs against Government agencies that delay their projects without any valid reason.
And councils will be able to increase planning charges by 15 per cent to recruit extra staff to speed up the process.
Mr Clark said the changes, which are going out to consultation for three months, would make the planning process ‘simpler, clearer and more accessible’.
Farmers and other landowners have complained for years that getting planning permission for change of usage of old barns for new purposes, even if it would create jobs, were a difficult job. Initiatives to open farm shops, food processing units, workshops or other enterprises have often been delayed for years or blocked altogether.
Proposed conversions could include shops, restaurants, hotels and ‘leisure’. Detailed guidance suggests possible uses could even include betting shops, car showrooms, retail warehouses and music venues.
Those who want to convert their barns would be able to claim ‘permitted development rights’, similar to those that allow homeowners to build a modest extension or conservatory without planning permission.
The Department for Communities and Local Government insisted the new rules would apply only to ‘relatively low impact’ proposals. It said it was consulting on the exact scope.
Paul Miner, of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, warned the change could create a planning free-for-all with a danger that if not checked properly there would be irritating and inappropriate development across the countryside.