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CIAT: Barn conversion rule change sparks backlash

CIAT discuss the potential of new government proposals on barn conversions to be environmentally destructive for rural communities.

Government proposals to let landowners convert rural barns into houses without needing planning permission have sparked a backlash from designers and national park bosses.

Critics fear the plans, aired by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) in a public consultation, could lead to poor-quality developments that were ‘ecologically damaging’ to rural areas.

The legislation would change permitted development rights in England’s national parks and conservation areas, allowing landowners to turn agricultural buildings into houses without planning, says a report in The Guardian.

The consultation says the move would benefit towns and villages in protected areas, where, ‘we want to give farmers greater freedom to change the use of their existing buildings to residential use and support the delivery of new homes in rural communities’.


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