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New planning rules reduce red tape for farmers

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New planning laws that have come into force simplify the conversion of unused farm buildings into new homes, farm shops, and gyms. These changes aim to help farmers diversify and expand their businesses without the burden of submitting planning applications.

Farmers can now repurpose agricultural buildings and land for various new uses, including outdoor sports facilities, larger farm shops, and training centres.

Permitted development rights already allow farmers to make some changes without needing planning permissions, but these have now been extended to provide greater freedoms. For instance, the number of homes that can be provided through converting agricultural buildings has doubled from five to ten, provided certain conditions like space and natural light are met. This initiative supports development of rural housing, enhancing the availability of homes in rural areas.

Key changes include:

  • Doubling the allowable floorspace for converting agricultural buildings to commercial use from 500 to 1,000 square meters.

 

  • Increasing the size of new buildings or extensions that can be built on larger farms (over 5 hectares) from 1,000 to 1,500 square meters, and for smaller farms from 1,000 to 1,250 square meters.

 

  • Doubling the number of homes that can be created from agricultural buildings from five to ten.

 

  • Protecting important archaeological sites by restricting new developments near them.

 

See: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/planning-red-tape-slashed-for-farmers

 

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