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Change Of Use From Agricultural To Non-Residential

We've covered some of the rules for changing use from agricultural to residential buildings, but what if you want to change use from agricultural to commercial or other non-residential purposes?

There are a lot more variables involved in commercial changes of use, though, so check to make sure your proposed use is covered.

Agricultural Changes Of Use 2013

Agricultural buildings beneath one hundred and fifty square metres may not require prior approval to be changed to one of the following types of building as of 30th May 2013:

  • Shop (Use class A1)
  • Professional and financial services (Use class A2)
  • Restaurants and cafés (Use class A3)
  • Business (Use class B1)
  • Storage (Use class B8)
  • Hotel (Use class C1)
  • Assembly and Leisure (Use class D2)

Agricultural buildings between one hundred and fifty and five hundred square metres, by contrast, are allowed to be changed to a use type from this list, but must be granted prior approval by the local council first. This prior approval will take into account flooding, highways, contamination and transport issues.

Finally, agricultural buildings over five hundred square metres will still require planning permission to be changed to one of these use types.

Prior approval will cost a certain amount of money in fees, £80 at time of writing. Be prepared for these costs if your building is between one hundred and fifty and five hundred square metres.

Agricultural Changes Of Use 2014

The new use class MA means that an agricultural building may be changed into a state-funded school or nursery school that provides childcare without planning permission, as of 6th April 2014.

Agricultural buildings will require prior approval from the relevant local authority before they can be changed to state-funded schools or childcare-providing nursery school. Additionally, the nature of the new use type means that further collaboration with local authorities is a probability.

The local planning authority may have more to say about this sort of change of use, and you may come up against more problems or issues with your proposal.

Certain works, such as building a modestly-sized hard playground, are automatically allowed as part of a change of use like this.

What Counts As Change Of Use?

Change of use only applies to changing the use of the building, and much of the building work associated with changing that use could require planning permission.

Bear in mind that listed buildings and buildings on protected sites will always still need planning permission, and may be less likely to be granted planning permission.

If in doubt, consider obtaining a Lawful Development Certificate to give yourself peace of mind about your project.

You could also try visiting our homepage and asking us a free legal question about your change of use, using the form on the right hand side.