Class Q development
I carry out many surveys of barns and other redundant farm buildings for farmers and landowners who wish to convert them to a domestic dwelling.The main purpose of the survey is to ensure that the walls are in a good enough condition so that there is only a small amount of repair needed. If the walls, mainly stone but sometimes a timber frame, are so bad that about 50% requires rebuilding then a local authority will not give planning permission on it as they deem that this is no longer an existing building but a new one. In the last six years I have been doing surveys of steel framed barns and even a timber pole frame (as the photo to the right shows). These have been submitted for Class Q approval which means you can get permitted development approval as long as the main structural members - steel portal frame or timber frame - can support the proposed loads without any strengthening needed. This can sometimes be a challenge as not only can agricultural buildings be designed for lower loads than a domestic dwelling, many farm buildings were never designed by a structural engineer in the first place!