When is a conversion not a conversion in the world of property?
30th January 2017
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We hear about them frequently these days - stunning barn conversions that make a gorgeous home.

Of course these buildings once served an agricultural purpose and converting them for for residential use is now such a regular activity that a specific planning regime is in place to simplify the process.

In some cases the plans for a particular conversion may meet 'permitted development' criteria, which will mean that full planning permission isn't required.

There are very set criteria for this, the details of which can be found here

But permitted development doesn't always apply, as Atkins Hope Solicitors in Croydon explains - and is something any developer must be aware of when considering a barn conversion.

For example, when plans were afoot to convert a modern steel-framed barn open on three sides into a residential unit, the local council refused to grant prior consent.

The plans were refused on the basis that it couldn't be defined as a conversion because the works required were far greater than they would be to convert a more substantial building with all walls intact. 

And this case went all the way to the top - an appeal to the planning inspector was unsuccessful, and even an appeal to the High Court upheld the council's refusal.

The Court affirmed that the works effectively amounted to a rebuilding of the property and so required full planning permission.

If a barn conversion is something you are considering as a developer or farm owner, make sure it fits within the true realms of permitted development to meet conversion criteria.

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