Over the last few years, the Government has attempted to speed up the planning system, in some cases by replacing the need to make a full planning application by extending permitted development rights using the prior approval process. Changes include the Class Q prior approval route for the conversion of agricultural buildings to residential dwellings, and extending some Part 6 permitted development rights.
These well-intentioned moves have had mixed results. While prior approval may be a smoother route to development for some, the system still requires disproportionate care and attention to prevent council officers forcing a costly planning appeal.
Writing for the south-east edition of the NFU's British Farmer & Grower members' magazine, Matt Gilks, an associate solicitor in Thrings’ Planning team, sets out some of the most contentious situations, explains why the operation of the system has led to frustration, and discusses some of the recent changes in rural development.