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Scheme bureaucracy has been cut for farmers

Scheme bureaucracy has been cut for farmers


Farmers will be able to convert disused buildings into new homes and shops thanks to new planning laws that come into effect from today.

Major changes will give farmers across the UK greater freedom to diversify and grow their businesses without having to spend time and money submitting planning applications.

Changes to development rights approved today will allow them to convert agricultural buildings and land into lucrative new business opportunities, including outdoor sports facilities, large farm stores, farm training centers and housing.

These new powers come just a week after the Farm to Fork Summit, where the Prime Minister reiterated the Government's commitment to supporting the farmers who keep this country fed. The changes taking effect will give them new freedom to diversify if they wish.

Minister for Housing, Planning and Building Safety Lee Rowley said:

Farmers are the lifeblood of their communities. This change gives them the freedom to grow their business and plan for the future.

This is all part of the long-term plan for housing to deliver more homes to rural communities and reform the planning system to remove unnecessary barriers to development.

Agriculture Minister Mark Spencer said:

I am very pleased to support our farmers and give them the freedom to decide the best use for the buildings on their land without unnecessary bureaucracy holding them back.

We listen to farmers and put them at the center of the future development of rural areas. Helping farmers secure their businesses and continue doing the important work of producing food is our top priority.

Permitted development rights give you more freedom to develop without having to apply for planning permission.

From today, the government will extend these rights, giving farmers greater freedom to build up to 10 homes as well as diversify agricultural buildings and convert them to commercial buildings without the need to submit a planning application. These rules depend on space and natural light conditions to ensure a home is suitable. This will help accelerate rural housing development, with just 5,000 homes delivered on farmland since April 2014*.

Here are the changes:

Doubling the floor space that can be converted from agricultural to flexible commercial use from 500sqm to 1,000sqm. Increases the size of new buildings or extensions that can be built on farms over 5 hectares from 1,000 square meters to 1,500 square metres. For small farms, increase development size from 1,000 sqm to 1,250 sqm. Modification of agricultural buildings doubles the number of deliverable houses from 5 to 10. Protects archaeological sites of national significance (scheduled monuments) by eliminating the ability to construct additions and new buildings around them.

The amendments deliver on one of the promises made by the Prime Minister at the Farm to Fork Summit in May last year – to reduce bureaucracy, streamline the planning system for farmers and support the wider rural economy.




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