New rules take effect on 6 April 2018

The Government has announced its long-awaited promise to review Class Q. Class Q relates to the conversion of agricultural buildings to residential use. These new rules take effect on 6 April 2018.

The present maximum of 3 dwellings and 450 square metres, will be replaced by a new maximum of 5 dwellings. To calculate the maximum floor space, you need to understand the new idea of larger and smaller dwellings.

A smaller dwelling is up to 100 square metres, and a larger dwelling is between 100 and 465 square metres. You may now have up to 465 square metres, made up of 1 to 3 larger dwellings. Or, you may have up to five smaller dwellings, taking up 500 square metres. You may also mix and match, giving the achievable maximum of 865 square metres made up of one larger dwelling of 465 square metres plus 4 smaller dwellings.

These new rules are retrospective too. So if you have already obtained some Class Q dwellings and you were either under or hit your maximum numbers or size, you can now apply for more dwellings. If, for example you have one dwelling under Class Q that was 450 square metres, that would count as a larger dwelling so that you could apply for up to four smaller dwellings.

The criteria for change of use have not changed, these numbers are for each established agricultural unit.

If you would like more information or advice on the new Class Q rules, please get in touch with Sarah Witheridge, Partner and Head of Property, on 01392 666526 or email – sarahwitheridge@wbw.co.uk.