Permitted development

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Some types of development may not require planning permission but are considered ‘permitted development’ as defined under Schedule 2 of the Town & Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995.

Permitted development for agriculture

Part 6 of this Schedule outlines three classes of permitted development for agriculture.

Class A - Agricultural building or engineering works on farms of more than 5 ha, where the proposed development is:

  • within a parcel of land of more than 1 ha
  • not related to a dwelling (dwellings are covered by Parts 1, 4 and 5 in the schedule)
  • designed for agriculture including housing for a biomass boiler and associated fuel, an anaerobic digestion system and associated feedstock and a hydro turbine
  • less than 465m square in ground area (including the area of any other works erected within 90m in the preceding 2 years)
  • less than 12m in height (3m if within 3 km of the perimeter of an aerodrome)
  • more than 25m from a classified road including C roads
  • if used to house livestock or slurry, more than 400m from a building occupied by people not working on the farm

Class B - Installation of plant/machinery or extension/alteration (not erection) of an agricultural building or provision of a hard surface or private way on farms of less than 5ha where the proposed development is:

  • within a parcel of land of more than 0.4 ha
  • not going to materially alter the external appearance of a building
  • more than 25m from a classified road including C roads
  • if used to house livestock or slurry, more than 400m from a building occupied by people not working on the farm
  • not increased in height
  • not increased in cubic capacity by more than 10%
  • less than 465m square in combined floor area (including the area of any other works erected within 90m in the preceding 2 years)
  • more than 5m from the boundary of the unit

(Class C is for mineral working for agricultural purposes)

Notifying the local planning authority

Under the determination procedure the local planning authority must be notified about:

  • the siting, design and external appearance of agricultural buildings
  • the siting and means of construction of a private way
  • the siting of excavations or waste deposits with an area exceeding 0.5 hectare.

This should be done using their specific notification form – an example is here.  

The council is then entitled to require further information or even full planning permission for the development. However, if they do not respond within 28 days or confirm that prior approval is not necessary, work can proceed, but only in accordance with the details submitted with the notification.

Permitted development for renewable energy installations

Part 43 of the Schedule to the General Permitted Development Order now includes six classes of permitted development for renewable energy installations for Non-Domestic buildings:

Class A  Solar panels (PV or thermal) on buildings if:

  • The upper surface of the panels is not more than 200mm off the face of the roof
  • The panels do not increase the height of the building (excl chimneys or vent housings) more than 1,000mm
  • The panels are installed within 1,000mm of the edge of the roof
  • The panels are not installed on the site of a scheduled monument, on or within the curtilage of a listed building, or fronting the highway within a building conservation area.

Class B  Solar panels ground mounted within the curtilage of a building if:

  • Only one installation
  • Less than 4m in height
  • More than 5m from the boundary of the curtilage
  • The panels are not installed on the site of a scheduled monument, on or within the curtilage of a listed building, or fronting the highway within a building conservation area.

Class C  Ground Source Heat Pump within the curtilage of a building if:

  • Excavation less than 0.5ha
  • Limited to one installation

Class D  Water Source Heat Pump within the curtilage of a building if less than 0.5ha source area.

Class E  Flue for a Biomass Boiler, and Class F  Flue for a Combined Heat & Power Unit (CHP) if:

  • Less than 45kW thermal capacity
  • Less than the height of a replaced flue or less than 1m above the height of the building, whichever is highest.
  • Less than one biomass or CHP flue
  • The flue is not installed on the site of a scheduled monument, on or within the curtilage of a listed building, or fronting the highway within a building conservation area.

Renewable energy installations for domestic property are covered under Part 40 which includes air source heat pumps and wind turbines under strict conditions, eg stand alone wind turbines limited to 11.1m tip height.

Changes of use

Part 3 of Schedule 2 has been amended to permit several changes of use, two of which might have relevance to pig buildings:

Class – J  Change of use from an office to a dwelling, subject to a 56-day prior approval procedure requiring a formal notification to the Local Planning Authority. It must be emphasised that this only permits Change of Use and not Conversion, the latter meaning significant alteration to the visual appearance or structure of the building. Amongst other restrictions this is only a temporary amendment and the use as a dwelling must commence before 30 May 2016.

Class – M  Change of use from agriculture to a shop or business unit or commercial storage, subject to a simple notification procedure if the cumulative area concerned is less than 150sqm, and a 56-day prior approval procedure if between 150sqm and 500sqm. The building must have been in agricultural use since 3 July 2012.

Class – MB  Conversion of agricultural buildings to dwellings where there would be:

  • Less than 3 residential units
  • Less than 450m2 of total floor space converted within the curtilage of the original buildings (eg, could be one dwelling of 450m2 or two of 225 m2 or three of 150 m2.
  • Agricultural use prior to 20 March 2013
  • Building can be redundant on 20 March 2013, but will not qualify for permitted development if the last use was non agricultural
  • If a new farm building was not completed by 20 March 2013 then 10 years needs to pass before application for approval is sought
  • No conversion of a listed building or scheduled monument, or within a National Park, Area of Natural Beauty (AONB), conservation area, or safety hazard area eg, MOD range.

A similar 56-day prior approval procedure to Class J above is required to determine the location, siting, design, external appearance, transport and highways, noise, contaminated land, and flood risk.