LGA raises concerns about farm buildings being converted into homes

LGA raises concerns about farm buildings being converted into homes

The Local Government Association has voiced concerns that rural areas are foregoing vital infrastructure and affordable housing that any other development would need prior to action.

Over the past three years there has been an almost 230 per cent increase in barns and farm buildings being converted into homes, all without the need for planning permission.

Latest figures show the number of agricultural to residential conversions in England has risen from 226 to 743 in two years, mostly in rural areas.

Councillor David Renard, the LGA’s planning spokesman, said: “We have concerns over the sharp rise in agricultural buildings being converted into homes without planning permission and the impact this is having on rural areas, given the lack of any requirement for developers to provide infrastructure or contribute to investment in local services such as roads or schools.

“Councils, which are approving nine in 10 planning applications, are committed to building the thousands of new homes the country needs, but these have to be of high quality and with the right infrastructure in place.

“Permitted development rules are denying councils and communities any control or oversight of this process.

“It is taking away the voice of local residents who need to be allowed to have their say over any developments in the streets and neighbourhoods where they live.

“Unless permitted development rules are scrapped, then communities face the risk of substandard housing without any of the vital supporting infrastructure and local services which residents need on a daily basis.”