Class Q secures consent for conversion of Dutch barn to 4 homes in Grade II Listed Shortgrove Park

The conversion is the first of its kind within the landscape park designed by Capability Brown between the 1750s and 1770s.

The landscape park was laid out by Capability Brown overlying an early C18 formal landscape surrounding the site of Shortgrove Hall, with mid C18 walled gardens developed by William Chater in the 1860s.


The application concerned the conversion of a mid-20th century agricultural Dutch barn and an adjacent cladded 21st century agricultural building to four dwellinghouses.


The Dutch barn will be converted into two larger dwellinghouses both with mezzanine floors allowing some second storey space. Unit 1 within the Dutch barn will have a total gross floor space of 230 sq. m., whilst Unit 2 will have a total gross floor space of 235 sq. m. therefore complying with the maximum permitted combined floorspace for larger dwellinghouses in the General Permitted Development Order (GPDO) for larger dwellinghouses - at 465 sq. m.


The cladded barn will be converted into two single-storey smaller dwellinghouses. Units 3 and 4 within the cladded barn will each have a total gross floor space of 90 sq. m. All four of the units will be served by a private terrace and private parking spaces within the curtilage area which does not exceed the size of the building being converted as per paragraph X of Part 3 of the GPDO.


The application was validated by Uttlesford District Council on 23rd April 2020 with the consultation period expiring on 19th May 2020.

Within the consultation period some objections were made by neighbours in relation to the proposal.


One such objection argued that, as Shortgrove Park is a Grade II listed park registered under the Historic Buildings and Ancient Monuments Act (1953), the application should be refused. Schedule 2, Part 3, Q.1(j) of the GPDO provides that development is not permitted by Class Q if the site is on article 2(3) land.


Schedule 1, Part 1 of the Act defines article 2(3) land as being land within –

  1. an area designated as a conservation area under section 69 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (designation of conservation areas);

  2. an area of outstanding natural beauty;

  3. an area specified by the Secretary of State for the purposes of section 41(3) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (enhancement and protection of the natural beauty and amenity of the countryside)

  4. the Broads;

  5. a National Park; and

  6. a World Heritage Site.

Shortgrove Park’s designation as a Grade II Listed Park falls outside the scope of article 2(3) land and the objection was therefore considered immaterial to the proposed development.


The submission was objectively assessed against the criteria set out under Part 3 Class Q (a and b) of the GPDO and was found to comply with all of them. Accordingly, it was therefore recommended that prior approval be granted.


Class Q Ltd’s renowned barn promotion service provides clients with a risk-free, one-stop solution for securing permitted development rights and adding substantial value to underused agricultural buildings.


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