Planning approved for two houses under PDR Class Q


Project Background

Our clients came to us wanting to knock down a steel framed barn and replace it with a new house.  The barn lies within a Green Belt and outside a settlement boundary so it was highly unlikely that planning permission would be granted. However, with considerable knowledge and experience of getting planning permission for sites in the open countryside, we suggested a strategy that would allow him to convert the barn.

We were able to suggest he had the right to carry out a conversion of the barn using his existing permitted development rights (PDR), often referred to as Class Q rights. This allows certain agricultural barns to be converted to residential dwellings with more certainty than a full planning application, in some cases up to 3 or more houses. The idea being to establish the right to convert the barn, then seek a full permission for a new house once we had established this ’fall-back’ permission for the conversion.

The House

The scheme is for two residential units within the same building.

House one has an open plan kitchen, living and dining area and a modest cloakroom and utility room on the ground floor. The first floor accommodates a master bedroom with a dressing space and ensuite, two further guest bedrooms and a family bathroom.

The second house has an open plan kitchen, living and dining room with an additional study and snug on the ground floor. The first floor accommodates a master bedroom with a dressing space and ensuite, two further guest bedrooms and a family bathroom.


Working closely with our clients, we agreed to submit an application for a Notification of Prior Approval (NPA) under PDR Class Q for two houses within the existing barn structure.  Just before Christmas we were successful in getting planning for this project! The client is so pleased with the designs he is now intending to carry out the conversion rather than going in with a full planning application to try and replace the barn. This gives him a speedier programme, more cost-effective building and has given him the option of building an extra house on a site he thought he would struggle to get one on.

Our planning strategy, the design of the scheme and subsequent success has significantly enhanced the value of the clients site.

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The Complete Oak Home offer something rather different, not oak frame manufacturers but oak frame experts who design & build oak frame homes. 


The one thing that has enabled us to progress is I believe finding a company that is prepared to partner with us from the very beginning and take us through planning, design/costing, tendering and build through to completion (or to any stage along the way). The Complete Oak Home offers us a way of achieving our dream by undertaking those tasks for us. 


We have both had a good look at the designs and we absolutely love them. It hugely exceeds our expectations and for this we are truly thankful of your superbly impressive work! We are so excited to think that this could be ours - you are very talented indeed.


To find out more about our client-led approach to design, have a read of our blog posts on bespoke architecture, designing from a blank canvas and our client lifestyle briefing process.

If you would like to speak to our Project Consultant, Alan Chilton-Bates, and have a FREE phone consultation about your project, please call 01249 479896.