Since the early 1980’s when planning policy first allowed for the conversion of Traditional buildings to residential dwellings  they have periodically fallen in and out of favour with purchasers and, at times Planners alike. With the advent of Class Q  in 2015, allowing for the conversion of more modern structures to residential use under ‘permitted development’ rules the options available to the farmer and landowner have  broadened considerably and allowed far greater flexibility when looking at capital values for the restructuring of a business or retirement planning through possible lotting and sale.

The Covid-19 pandemic has had one positive effect - it has given us all the opportunity of taking stock of where we are, what we are doing and how we are doing it. The South West property market is booming with exceptional demand for all properties from cottages to castles and the humble barn once again finds itself hotly favoured by purchasers from all over the country.

The attraction is obvious – whether a lovely old stone barn or a utilitarian steel framed covered yard, current planning policy opens up a wealth of possibility for residential development. Add to that a rural setting and possibly adjoining land and the interest rockets and so does the value. So far this year almost all of the barns offered for sale by Greenslade Taylor Hunt have achieved or exceeded their guide prices. Initially frowned upon by developers Class Q has allowed for the creation of modern, efficient and attractive dwellings in the open countryside where internal flexibility on room layout allows for large open plan living areas.

Invariably where such buildings are within a working farm complex the options may be limited. However the general relaxation of planning policy may open other opportunities and our planning team are always happy to provide an initial consultation without obligation. Conversely if you have any buildings with consent and are wondering what they are worth then please speak to your nearest GTH office.

Tony Overhill FRICS FAAV – 01884 243000