All You Need to Know Before Building an American Barn

Within this article, we will aim to answer the question on whether you need planning permission to build an American Barn on your property. We will examine the different rules and regulations and give you the most information you can digest that will help you with deciding whether you are able to build an American barn. Keep on reading below for the answers. American barns have become a lot more popular in the UK and they are becoming more visible. They offer your animals protection from the elements and give a sense of added convenience with your horses needs being able to be addressed all in one covered area. The rules and laws are different and have many different variables as we will discuss below.

What are your permitted development rights?

These are actually your right to build, develop, excavate, extend and carry out engineering work on certain properties without having to go through the whole planning permission process. These individual rights are in detail in a statutory instrument (No 418,1995) known as the Town and Country Planning General Permitted Development Order of 1995.

Development that is approved and permitted on property that is 12 acres or more of agricultural land is known as class A development. This gives you the rights to build, extend or alter a building including excavating or engineering operations that may be needed for the purpose of agriculture within the building.

A Typical American Barn Timber Frame Structure. Image credit: Off Grid News

The American barn building has to be below 5000 square feet. Since you will want to be keeping your horses in the barn it will have to be at least 400 meters away from the nearest non-agricultural building. But permitted development doesn’t include stabling, so you will have to apply for planning permissions to change the usage for your equestrian needs.

When it comes to planning an American barn it can be a grey area and will depend upon where you are located and what the rules and regulations are. Above all else, it is advised that you visit and talk to your local borough councillor who can give you advice that may help you in your quest for planning permissions to build your American barn. Also be careful when you pick your parish council meeting because you do not want to fall short of your goal in being able to get the rights to build the barn.

The main element from our experience suggests that the key to arguing that a barn should be allowed to be built will fall under the permitted development rights. Being able to build a strong planning and architectural case is essential. It must be that it leads the planning officers through the complex aspects of the legislation. Your building must meet the clear criteria that must be met. If your American barns do not meet all of the criteria, then it will be less then likely to get a secured permitted development permission.

The Interior of an American Barn is Warm, Dry & Comfortable. Image credit: Decorating Decor & More

Some of the major aspects that will affect your ability to get planning permissions for an American barn include such things as whether it will affect the environment, whether it will change the natural beauty of the landscape, whether it will interfere or be a nuisance to roads or highways among other things. Being able to be in harmony with the environment will be a factor on whether you can get permissions for building an American barn.

Another key factor about the issues related to the American barn is the stables that will hold your horses. If you did not have stables you would not have the problems associated with having to apply for planning permissions. You may or may not be allowed and given permissions. It really depends on where you live and what area of the UK that you are situated in. Living on agricultural land will give you more rights and freedoms when it comes to building but you will have to follow the rules and recommendations of your local government agencies.

Whatever you do, don’t build without the proper planning permissions. If you were too they would be allowed to tear down your barn. Above all else approach the process of applying for permissions with as much detail about your plans and make sure you do your research to appease the council so that they rule in your favor. Ultimately American barns are a great way to store and house your horses. The rights and permissions are different depending on where you live. You will have to follow the rules above all else.

Credits & Acknowledgements

The following websites were referenced in the authorship of the blog post: