CLA South East director Robin Edwards said the Association had lobbied successive governments for nearly a decade for disused farm barns and other agricultural outbuildings to be eligible for redevelopment under permitted development rights.
He said: "This is a great victory. It means farmers and landowners can use their old agricultural buildings for new purposes without having to go through the difficult and costly full planning application process. We are very pleased Defra has worked with the Department of Communities and Local Government to finally make this happen.
"This change will help to underpin farming businesses and boost the rural economy by assisting in the creation of new jobs and businesses at a time when they are greatly needed."
Responding to today's announcement made by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles and Planning Minister Nick Boles, the CLA regional director added: "We are also pleased that the new permitted development rights will allow changes of use for redundant office buildings to houses.
"This will apply in rural as well as urban areas and give more flexibility for owners of redundant office buildings to provide much-needed homes in rural areas."