Coles Miller planning consultants are helping developers poised to benefit from a proposed relaxation of rules governing building in National Parks.
Planning Minister Nick Boles is suggesting that empty barns and other redundant farm buildings could be converted into new homes without the need to apply for permission.
The government move is aimed at cutting red tape and providing much needed new housing stock in the countryside.
It is said to have the support of Communities Secretary Eric Pickles who reportedly wants to implement the new proposals as quickly as possible.
Coles Miller believes the changes would help to persuade urban developers to look further afield as sites in towns and cities become more difficult to source.
The changes would also help farmers keen to diversify or exit their business to make better use of empty or underused buildings on their land.
But it is vital to take expert advice as soon possible ahead of the suggested changes, says Coles Miller’s planning team.
Coles Miller Planning Consultant James Cain said: “Many companies that are more used to developing urban sites have traditionally viewed the countryside as a no-go area because of the difficulties in obtaining planning permission.
“In the past, rural planners often turned down a significant number of proposals, resulting in costly and time-consuming appeals that did not always succeed.
“So it is understandable that developers with less experience of the rural sector have instead concentrated on other opportunities in towns and cities, such as brownfield sites.
“The proposed new legislation offers a great opportunity to provide some sensitive and well designed schemes for National Parks - but it is important to get the correct specialist advice from the outset,” said Mr Cain, a member of the National Association of Planning Enforcement (NAPE) and the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI).
Coles Miller carries out feasibility studies on behalf of clients keen to assess the potential of their land for development.
Latest reports on the proposed changes follow the Princess Royal’s call for rural development to be shared out among villages - rather than through the creation of two new garden cities.
Princess Anne, the Patron of the English Rural Housing Association, believes that small developments of six to 12 homes could be scattered among villages instead of large numbers of houses being built in new towns.
Dorset law firm Coles Miller provides planning consultancy across the South, predominantly in Bournemouth, Poole, Dorset, Hampshire and Wiltshire.
Coles Miller has five offices in Bournemouth, Poole, Broadstone, Charminster and Wimborne.
Its planning team helps clients to apply for planning permission, overcome objections and to appeal against refusal.
Coles Miller can also assist with:
- enforcement of planning conditions
- submitting applications for Certificates of Lawful Use (CLUED and CLUPOD)
- legal agreements
- feasibility studies
- promoting strategic sites.
For more information, please contact Coles Miller Solicitors’ Chartered Town Planning Consultant James Cain, 01202 293226.