Government consults on easing legislation to convert redundant agricultural buildings into housing.

7 June 2023

The Government has pledged to make it easier to convert “redundant agricultural buildings” into homes. A document published yesterday (06/06/23) entitled ‘Unleashing Rural Opportunity’ outlines how government will deliver the Prime Minister’s priority to grow the economy, creating better-paid jobs and opportunity right across the country”.

The government has also confirmed that it will consult on “making it easier to change redundant agricultural buildings into family homes”. 

These plans form part of a wider government initiative to drive the growth of the rural economy.

In a statement made prior to the release of the document, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak confirmed;

‘Government will consult on making it easier for farmers to change their redundant agricultural buildings into family homes by cutting red tape. Planning rules could be changed to provide a more generous threshold delivered through the more streamlined planning process, while providing local authorities with new powers to safeguard against second homes and holiday lets.’

The statement also confirmed that the government will “consult on planning changes to make agricultural development more flexible for farmers so they can amend their existing agricultural buildings to make them more productive more easily”.

The existing planning barriers to farm diversification projects recently received national attention after Jeremy Clarkson highlighted challenges faced by applicants on his farm Diddly Squat in West Oxfordshire. Reaching the attention of Rishi Sunak, the PM told last month’s Farm to Fork summit at Downing Street that the government “want to give British farmers greater freedoms to make the best use of their existing buildings, whether that’s for a Diddly Squat-style farm shop or a processing facility.’

The government has also pledged to “help more communities access funding for village halls.

Access the document ‘Unleashing Rural Opportunity’ on the link below.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/unleashing-rural-opportunity

Should you require any advice regarding potential opportunities relating to the conversion of redundant agricultural buildings, please do not hesitate to contact Claudia Jones (ClaudiaJones@morganelliot.co.uk).

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