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Farming Planning Permission

As a rule, planning permission for farms comes under the same regulations as other types of land and property. But, there are special planning rules and conditions for agricultural land and buildings on it.

PLANNING REGULATIONS: You will need farming planning permission if:

  • You change the use of the land from farming to another venture. This may include turning disused farm buildings to self catering apartments. A classic example is ‘www.the-stableyard.co.uk‘ (pictured below).
  • You want to build a new house on the land. You can build a larger house on an existing registered house. But, there are restrictions on how much the square footage can get increased.

As a rule, you need planning permission when applying for a grant to fund a project if it includes a building or land development on the farm.

When Planning Permission for Farms is Not Needed

There are some exceptions whereby you do not need farming planning permission. They include situation such as:

  • Changing a building into a grain silo area.
  • Using disused buildings on your land for farming purposes.
  • Changing the use of a farming build into another use (e.g. turning pig pens into stables for horses on farms).
  • Making small alterations to the outside of building (e.g. installing security lights or an alarm box).
  • If they have ‘permitted development (PD) rights‘ for farms over 5 hectares (approximately 12.36 acres).

Before planning a building project on any farm or land you should always check the rules with the appropriate authority. This may be the local planning authority in England and Wales, or Scotland. It would be the local planning area office in Northern Ireland.

Note: Failing to get planning permission means any work carried out can get stopped. The building can get torn down at your expense even if the construction got completed.

Applying for Planning Permission Farming

Planning Permission for Farms in the United Kingdom

In England, you can make online planning applications through the ‘Planning Portal‘. It is a joint venture between TerraQuest Ltd, Local Government, and the Department for Communities.

  • Business Wales‘ deals with planning permission in Wales.
  • In Northern Ireland, you can contact ‘NIDirect.gov‘ for further information on planning applications for buildings.
  • MyGov.Scot‘ handles planning applications for building in Scotland.

Permitted Development

The farm must be 5 hectares (approximately 12.36 acres) or more to get considered as a permitted development area. You then have the right to alter farm buildings and erect or extend the building.

As a rule, you can also carry out excavations and engineering operations needed for agricultural purposes. But, you may need approval for certain details in the development.

Types of permitted developments and projects allowed include:

  • Agricultural buildings (with some restrictions). They must be within a certain height, width, and length.
  • Temporary use of land. An example would be for holding a show jumping event.
  • Forestry buildings. These can be buildings used to house equipment that gets used to care for woods and forests.
  • Caravan sites and related buildings, such as shower and wash rooms (extra rules may apply).

The LPA will confirm whether a planned construction gets covered by the permitted development rules. Contact the local area planning office if it is Northern Ireland. They will inform you whether the farming project needs planning permission.

The ‘Agricultural Document Library‘ (ADLib) is an expanding resource. It currently contains over 2500 indexed and cross-linked documents from over 60 organisations. They supply advisory information to the planning guidance on permitted development on farms.

Farming Planning Permission Appeals

There are different rules and deadlines for appealing any farming planning permission decisions. It depends most on which country you are in. Check the planning permission appeals process guide for further information.

Planning Permission for Farms in the United Kingdom