A rise in the number of barn conversions means that rural communities are missing out on essential infrastructure and local services, according to the Local Government Association (LGA).
PA Media reports on figures published by the LGA that reveal the number of agricultural to residential conversions in England has increased 230 per cent from 2015 / 16 to 2017 /18. These conversions take place under permitted development right and the LGA has argued this allows developers to ‘bypass’ the planning system and avoid providing the necessary local infrastructure such as schools and GPs.
David Renard, the LGA’s planning spokesperson, commented: ‘We have concerns over the sharp rise in agricultural buildings being converted into homes without planning permission and the impact this is having on rural areas…It is taking away the voice of local residents who need to be allowed to have their say over any developments in the streets and neighbourhoods where they live.’ Devon, Kent, Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Staffordshire were singled out as areas that have seen high levels of agricultural to residential conversions over the last year.
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