‘Clarkson’s Clause’ opens up new sources of revenue for farmers

June 20th 2024

On 21st May 2024 major legislative changes to existing permitted development rights were made by the UK government. Widely seen as a response to the closure of Jeremy Clarkson’s barn conversion restaurant after two planning applications were rejected by West Oxfordshire District Council, these changes mean that it is now much easier to convert agricultural buildings into residential or commercial uses.

The reform means that agricultural buildings which are not solely used for agricultural purposes (eg. storage) can now also be converted into residential properties without planning permission, whilst also increasing the maximum number of dwellings within a former agricultural unit from 5 to 10.

A planning application is also now not required for conversion of certain agricultural buildings to anything within Use Class E (commercial, business or services) plus outdoor sport and recreation, or use for the provision of agricultural training. These new permitted changes operate in addition to the existing permitted development use class changes for agricultural buildings to hotels, general industrial use and warehousing. The changes also double the maximum floor space for conversion to such commercial uses from 500m2 to 1000m2.

Unsurprisingly, there are a number of caveats to these positive changes. So if you are thinking of re-purposing redundant agricultural buildings its important to seek decent legal advice from the outset.




The UK government said the new law will give farmers across England ‘greater freedom to diversify and grow their business.’