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The Ultimate Guide to Class Q Conversions: Everything You Need to Know!


At TFQ, we work in the heart of Devon, and we are surrounded with beautiful countryside every day. We believe in the importance of conscientious development options for rural areas to help protect and preserve its heritage. One such avenue is through the utilization of Class Q permitted development rights, facilitating the transformation of agricultural buildings while preserving the region's natural allure and rural landscape.

Class Q conversions have revolutionised the landscape of rural development in the UK, offering a pathway to transform agricultural buildings into residential dwellings. Understanding the intricacies of Class Q permitted development rights is crucial for anyone considering such a conversion project. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into everything you need to know about Class Q conversions, from the basics to the benefits and beyond.


1. What is Class Q Permitted Development?

Class Q permitted development rights, outlined in the General Permitted Development Order (GPDO), provide a streamlined process for converting agricultural buildings into residential use. Introduced in 2015, Class Q aims to promote rural regeneration while preserving the character and heritage of the countryside without the need for a lengthy planning process.

2. Eligibility Criteria

Not all agricultural buildings qualify for Class Q conversions. Certain criteria must be met to benefit from permitted development rights, including the following:

  • The building must have been in agricultural use on or before March 20, 2013.

  • The proposed dwelling must fall within certain size limits.

  • The building's conversion must comply with specific design and location requirements.

  •  The development right can provide up to 5 new dwellings: - up to 3 larger homes within a maximum of 465 square metres - up to 5 smaller homes each no larger than 100 square metres - a mix of both, within a total of no more than 5 homes, of which no more than 3 may be larger homes

3. Benefits of Class Q Conversions

Class Q conversions offer a range of benefits, including:

  • Cost-effectiveness: Converting existing structures can be more economical than new construction.

  • Sustainable development: Repurposing agricultural buildings minimises environmental impact.

  • Heritage preservation: Class Q conversions help retain the character of rural landscapes.

4. Challenges and Considerations

While Class Q conversions present numerous advantages, they also pose challenges such as:

  • Planning permission: Despite being permitted development, obtaining planning consent may still be necessary in some cases.

  • Structural considerations: Agricultural buildings may require significant structural alterations to meet residential standards.

  • Building regulations: Compliance with Building Regulations is essential to ensure the safety and habitability of the converted dwelling.

5. The Conversion Process

Navigating the Class Q conversion process involves several key steps:

  • Initial assessment: Evaluate the suitability of the agricultural building for conversion.

  • Design and planning: To develop detailed plans that meet both regulatory requirements and your needs.

  • Structural modifications: To undertake necessary structural alterations to transform the building into a habitable space.

  • Compliance and approval: To obtain any required prior notification and ensure compliance with building regulations.

  • Further to prior notification (PD Approval) a further 'fullback' application can be secured to create a betterment of the design in the form of a new dwelling and site layout to extend the current footprint or/add a garage for example.

  • Completion and occupancy: Once all necessary approvals are secured, the converted dwelling is ready for occupation.

6. Expert Guidance and Support

Given the complexities involved, seeking professional assistance is advisable for Class Q conversions. This is precisely where TFQ steps in, offering our expertise to help you optimize your site and meet all necessary requirements. With our wealth of experience, we're well-equipped to guide you through every stage of the conversion process.


Class Q conversions offer a unique opportunity to breathe new life into agricultural buildings, fostering sustainable development while preserving rural heritage. By understanding the regulations, benefits, and challenges associated with Class Q conversions, you can embark on your conversion journey with confidence, knowing that you're maximizing the potential of your rural property while respecting its rich history.

If you have a project in mind are or are still unsure if your project meets the Class Q conversion criteria, why not get in touch!


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