Agricultural Planning Permission

Agricultural Planning Permission

It seems like a long time since the beginning of our farm planning journey.

It was in November 2006 that I first contacted NewLandOwner for advice. We were about to buy 15 acres of pasture

in Rutland.  We had no experience in land ownership and certainly not in the planning process either. After speaking

with NewLandOwner, about our plot for planning potential, they said we had bought well (more by luck than

judgment I think) and advised that to obtain planning consent for a residential home in the country, we

needed to have a profitable agricultural business. Of some kind. And so began the long process of deciding not only

what we wanted to do but how we were going to achieve it. I found it on the internet, we arranged for them to visit us

to evaluate it.

Agricultural Planning Permission

Agricultural Planning Permission
Agricultural Planning Permission

Please do not buy a piece of land and mistakenly think that you can put a mobile home on it in the hope that by

having some animals you, Unfortunately, it is not as straightforward as that. You have to want to work in the

field and have a successful business. It is not enough to want to “live the good life.” Aside from the fact that I had

always owned horses, we had no prior experience in raising cattle so I enrolled in one of NewLandOwners’ “Getting

Started in Smallholding” weekend courses. This gave us insight into pig farming, chicken, cow, and sheep farming

along with land management, horticulture, and legal requirements related to livestock farming. I think one of the

most important things is doing what you love and the course helped us decide in which areas we would like to start.

The next step was to find a planning consultant. Don’t underestimate how difficult it can be to get planning in the

field, which is why you need professional help. Unfortunately, this help can come at a considerable cost, and the longer I have to struggle with the advice, the bigger the bills, but I am convinced that without professional

advice we would not have been successful. My advice is don’t skimp on this area, otherwise, it might cost you more in

the long run. Neil took a back seat here and I took on the role of “planner” dealing with the consultants and doing a

lot of research. To be honest, I had no idea what I was about to get into, but I came to the conclusion that things

weren’t going to work out well, after all, if it was easy, everyone would. I telephoned and visited several planning

consultants before seeking out and using Heaton Planning Consultants. In the meantime, we have purchased our

first 50 laying hens and four rare breed pigs.

Agricultural Planning Permission

Agricultural Planning Permission
Agricultural Planning Permission

We had bought animal housing and a local built a fence for the pigs. These weaners were to be the start of our pig

farming business. Two were boars to fatten and kill and two sows to breed. This was the beginning of our business

plan that had been put together by Rob and Dave at NewLandOwner. Since Rob and Dave are “Veterans” (I’m sure

they won’t mind if I say so), they have vast experience in all things farming, having been farmers their entire lives.

This was one of the main reasons for choosing to work with them. There are no better people, I thought, to write an

agricultural business plan than someone who knows. Anyone can write figures on paper, but what is also needed is a

practical understanding of what is involved and what is feasible, and as in our case, they needed to be

able to argue their reasoning both in writing on the board and in the appeal hearing. We worked closely together to

come up with a business plan that was not only workable for us but fit our potential planning application. All

business and planning applications are individual but have the same goal, to be successful. Spencer and Jenna from

Heaton Planning then did an evaluation report to determine the likelihood that our application would be successful.

There are never guarantees but what they were looking for was to establish the policy principles to obtain the work

permit. All local planning authorities have to follow the guidance issued by the government, but the interpretation

can be very different from one authority to another.

Agricultural Planning Permission

Agricultural planning and PPS 7

As this study showed, we had a high chance that we would set out to put together an application. The application was

based on the business plan and obviously, that goal was to be able to live on the site. In my opinion, no one wants to

have to travel from one place to another when

1 Comment

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