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Farm conversions and the extra complications with listed buildings

Reasons to choose Wilson Browne

Regulations introduced in 2015 allowed redundant agricultural buildings to be converted to residential use without the need for a specific planning permission.  However this permitted development is not possible where the building is listed.  The problem in a recent case was the definition of “building” and specifically what it includes.

For listed purposes “building” includes not only the main obvious structure but also “any object or structure within the curtilage of the building” and has done so since before 1st July 1948.

This recent case involved Malvern Hills District Council and the listed Folliott House.  At the time Folliott House became listed in the 1980s there was a farmyard with barns included within the estate and relatively close by – and there were historic maps to show that the farmyard was set up on the same basis before 1948.

By the time of the proposed development the barns were in separate ownership from Folliott House and had their own entrance together with a brick wall separating the different ownerships.

The Council decided that the barns were listed and as such did not benefit from the permitted development rights.  The landowner appealed and lost the appeal.  The inspector decided that there was a clear visible link (in spite of the wall now separating them) between the style of the barn and the rear of Folliott House and that the barn was only ever ancillary to the main house and as such fell within the curtilage of Folliott House and therefore was listed.

This case again shows that extra care and investigations must be carried out if a property once formed part of a larger estate where a building is listed.

Nina Wilson


Nina Wilson


Nina is a Solicitor and Partner of almost 20 years experience advising clients on commercial property law. A Legal 500 recognised Lawyer, Nina has acted in multi-million pound acquisitions and development agreements.