Planning and Development
Planning permission is required for all Development as defined by Section 55 of the Town & Country Planning Act 1990. This includes building and engineering works as well as non-agricultural change of use eg converting an old pig building into a business unit. How this is interpreted at local level is subject to the opinion of the Local Planning Authority (LPA) so it is wise to check with them first. They will consider the size, permanence, and physical attachment of a proposed structure to decide if planning permission is required eg a new farm office may need permission whereas a portacabin on an outdoor unit may not.
A proposal may be classed as General Permitted Development which may require a formal notification.
If full permission is required, it is usually recommended to arrange Pre Application Advice with the LPA to establish how an application may be determined in the light of local planning policies e.g. a four bedroom house for a farm manager may be destined for refusal while a three bedroom cottage may be more acceptable.
Planning applications are made using standardised forms of which at least four copies are required along with supporting documentation including plans, a design & access statement and administration fee.
Example form: http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/uploads/appPDF/T3725Form004_england_en.pdf
Environmentally sensitive proposals including pig units of over 900 sows or 3000 production pigs over 30 kg may require an Environmental Impact Assessment.
An application for an Agricultural Worker's Dwelling will need accompanying with an Agricultural Appraisal Report.
Check with the council if the proposal will be controlled by Building Regulations.
The LPA should determine most applications within 54 days but can only be obliged to do so by the Planning Inspectorate and only if an appeal is made for this.
If planning permission is refused, a modified application may be resubmitted addressing any grounds for refusal within 6 months without any further planning fee.
If planning permission is granted it must be executed within 3 years or the permission will lapse. Applications can now be made to extend this period for an additional fee.
Planning permission is often subject to making a ‘contribution’ to the local authority infrastructure eg a donation to the public library. Conditions will also be attached to the permission. If these are not complied with, or the plans submitted with the application are not followed accurately, the LPA can withdraw permission and enforce the removal of the structure concerned.