Dudley Peverill

Agricultural Building to Commercial Use – Class R

farm building

Many farms have outdated, redundant or underutilised agricultural buildings due to changing circumstances or modernisation of machinery. These buildings are often a farmers first consideration towards asset diversification. Often, the physical conversion of agricultural buildings to suit commercial use is considered unexpected. As such, the conversion of disused agricultural buildings can be seen as “low hanging fruit” for farmers looking to achieve fixed rental income, with minimal management input.

Agricultural permitted development rights create a comparably easy route to enable the change of use of agricultural buildings. Class Q and Class R conversions are common on UK farms.

Our client was seeking a Class R change of use as part of a wider diversification strategy.

To the right is an image capturing the agricultural building in question., a grainstore comprised of 3 full length bays. The farm no longer had the necessity for this building to remain as a grainstore and as such, was available for other uses. Based on the buildings location in relation to the farmyard and its access, commercial rental was seen as the most appropriate route.


A class R conversion permits the change of use of up to 500m2 footprint. This particular building has a footprint of 700m2 . To avoid additional planning permissions, cost and complexity, it was decided that the farm would benefit from the 200m2  spare storage for machinery, made possible through the building having access from both ends. 


The Solution

We engaged with local agricultural buildings contractors to segment the shed, splitting it into the 500m2 destined for commercial lettings and 200m2  destined for agricultural storage use respectively, using the concrete grain panelling and steelwork removed from the commercial side. This afforded secure and separate enterprise space for the tenant and farmer, whilst presenting scope for additional space to be rented to the tenant if required in the future, at little expense.


Where possible, to alleviate risk, we endeavour to secure pre-let agreements, which ensures a tenant upon completion of works. In this case, a carpentry and joinery company of whom was looking to expand their facilities was selected as an appropriate option. To this day the tenant is happy with the facilities and the farm owner is benefitting from a yearly rental income of circa almost £30,000. He also takes the waste wood shavings to add to his composting efforts!

At Dudley Peverill, ensure that our clients needs are met.


We work with landowners and farmers to develop tailored advice and strategies to help diversify their estate, increase resilience, income and asset value, whilst realising their visions and aspirations through property and enterprise investments.


If you want to talk about the potential developments your land has to offer, you can contact us for a free, no obligations consultation.

Book an informal chat with us today

 We’re happy to have an informal discussion with no pressure and just discuss the options for your farm that takes account of the wishes of your whole family and finds a solution that works for everyone!  Complete the form to request your call back.