Class PA approval for the change of use of a light industrial building into 2x dwellings

Class PA barn conversion

In October 2017, the Government introduced a new permitted development right allowing the change of use of a building in light industrial use (Class B1c) and land within its curtilage to residential use. There are a number of conditions that need to be considered first before committing to this application process, these include:

  • a limit on the existing floorspace, which cannot exceed 500 sqm;
  • that the site must have been solely within Class B1(c) use on 19 March 2014 (or this must have been its last use);
  • the right does not apply to listed buildings or scheduled monuments.

The Class PA process and prior approval

Under this process, an application will need to be made to the council to determine if a prior approval is required. Factors such as transport, contamination and flood risk would need to be assessed as part of the process.

An example of this process in practice, our planning consultants recently submitted a Class PA application for the change of use of a light industrial building to 2x dwellings in Woodnesborough, Kent and we are delighted to say the application was approved.

Class PA and residential development in rural locations

The building subject to this particular case is located in an area where Dover District Council has previously resisted development. Furthermore, the Council had refused a planning application for a similar scheme. It was undoubtedly going to be a challenging application and we focussed on ensuring our arguments were watertight.

As part of the Class PA application submission, we methodically reviewed the site against a series of requirements in order to establish compliance with the Class PA rules and where necessary, we arranged the involvement of specialist consultants to address specific points. This thorough approach ensured that the application was considered favourably by the Council.

In this case, the Class PA process provided the opportunity to convert a suitable light industrial building to residential accommodation, and in a location where local planning policy on residential development in rural areas is very strict.

About us

We work hard to secure the right developments in the right locations. Get in touch with our team of experienced and knowledgeable planning consultants at to get a better understanding of how we work and see how we can best assist you with your planning project.

IMAGE SOURCE: Invent Architecture 2017