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Barn Conversion Policies Revisited

Posted by James Watchorn on 21st February 2023
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East Devon District Council (EDDC) has been forced to alter its approach to the conversion and re-use of rural building following a recent appeal decision which confirmed its Local Plan policies were “out of date” and that favour should be given to the overarching National policies in the NPPF in relation to achieving sustainable development.

The subject building is located within the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), requiring a full planning application to convert it to either holiday or full residential use.  EDDC relied on the Local Plan policy which referred to building conversions that were “in a location which will not substantively add to the need to travel by car” when it refused the application.  A similar requirement was tested in 2018 for an application in Braintree DC where the Inspector clarified the application of national policy to isolated buildings. Therefore, the Inspector in this Appeal also confirmed that the National policies should overrule the local policies in relation to the need to travel by car when considering rural barn conversion.

The Appeal decision was also supported by the fact that EDDC cannot demonstrate a 5 year Housing Land Supply at present.

If you think you may have suitable barns for conversion whether in East Devon or the South West generally, please do not hesitate to contact Lucy Back at our Taunton office to discuss, via or 01823 426500.

Lucy Back

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