A House on the Farm?

9th January 2013

Many of you may have heard of the recent relaxations in planning policy which has been introduced by the Government. We have been asked many times recently if the new approach means that it is now easier to get planning permission for a house on the farm. The answer to this question is both yes and no.

The new planning policy approach is less demanding of applicants in that it only requires that a farmer demonstrate a need to live permanently at or near their place of work.

The old planning system required that a farmer addressed many criteria such as proving that there is an existing functional need for the house and that this need relates to a full time worker. In addition Councils required evidence of viability and profitability of the farm business before deciding to grant or refuse planning permission.

Confusion arises because many Local Authorities are reluctant to let go of the old system and are still requiring that people applying for planning permission for a house on the farm address the requirements of the old system.

A key element in both the new and old systems is the issue of ‘need.’ In general terms it is easier to demonstrate need on a livestock farm than on an arable one and also in general terms the more livestock you have the better!

We are able to carry out an initial planning appraisal, determining the Council’s approach in their area and assessing the ‘need’ for a house on a farm. This appraisal will also help determine the likelihood of achieving planning consent and can assist in deciding whether or not to proceed with an application.

We bring together agricultural and planning expertise and have had notable success at getting planning permission for this type of project.

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