The British horticultural industry faces many of the same challenges as agriculture, particularly with what some would consider a lack of strategy and support from the government. Now, more than ever it is crucial to step back and consider what your business needs to be successful. There are many opportunities, but these often require changes to buildings to improve efficiency, welfare, productivity or capacity, whether to support the core farming enterprise or farm diversification.

Development could include:

  • Horticultural production buildings
  • Machinery or general purpose store
  • Extensions to existing buildings
  • Replacement buildings
  • Relocation of buildings and/or yard

Is planning permission required?

There's a common misconception that you don't need planning permission for agricultural or horticultural buildings. Not all types of development require 'full planning' however there is almost always a formal process that needs to be followed with your Local Planning Authority.

National legislation includes permitted development rights for certain operations which are 'reasonably necessary for the purposes of agriculture or horticulture' within the business unit.

You may not always need full planning permission for agricultural or horticultural buildings, but at the very least you will need to notify the Council of the proposal and await the "28 day notice" period. Within the 28 day period the Council will either determine the application, or request further information. The application effectively then becomes a full application.

What are the main factors to consider?

  • Likelihood of flooding
  • Highways safety and impact
  • Landscape and visual impact
  • Impact on public rights of way
  • Impact on designations such as Green Belt or AONBs
  • Noise impact
  • Neighbour amenity
  • Ecology

Other factors to consider include Design, Materials, Scale, Use, Siting and Drainage.

Budget: The range can differ depending on complexity, design requirement and size etc. As a ballpark, if you want to use a planning consultant for your horticultural application then you should be budgeting £1000 to £2000.

Timescale: For a permitted development you should estimate 8 to 12 weeks, full planning application approx 20 weeks.

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