Agricultural Rural Development

Farmers enjoy certain exemptions from planning control - the use of land or buildings for agricultural purposes does not require planning permission, and many farm buildings do not require the submission of a formal planning application.

When considering agricultural development the needs of the business are key to the decision to permit development. For example, if an agricultural worker’s dwelling is required it can only be justified on the needs of the business; based on stocking levels, standard labour requirement and viability of the farming business (profitable one out of the previous three years).

Many farm buildings enjoy permitted development rights providing certain criteria are satisfied. Many farmers know this as serving on the planning authority a ‘28 day notice of intent’ or using ‘GPDO rights.’  This can only be done where the proposed development complies with all of the criteria in the General Permitted Development Order.  For proposals that do not meet all of these criteria, full planning will be required, for example any buildings greater than 465 square metres will always require full planning permission.  There is a fee for notice of intent applications – currently £80.

Most local authorities also have planning policies which permit farm diversification proposals such as farm shops or holiday cottages. You should be aware though that policies and the interpretation of policies vary widely from authority to authority.

For more information contact Tom Woof, Senior Planner on T: 01228 406260 or email Tom direct with your enquiry in complete confidence.

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