Planning Portal

Farmers: Change of use (diversification)

Due to the recent difficulties in the farming industry there has been an increasing desire by some farmers to diversify into another area. To do this you may be considering a new business running alongside your farming business or a new venture altogether.  
If you are considering changing the use of a farm building(s), a part of a farm building or indeed if you are intending to change the use of farmland, you may require planning permission to do this. Although a grant or form of funding may be provided from another body for the proposal(s) you wish to implement, it does not necessarily follow that planning permission will be granted.  
Your local area planning office will advise you as best we can if planning permission is required but, if you want to obtain a formal ruling you (or your adviser) can apply, on payment of a fee, for a certificates of Lawful Use or Development, as to whether a particular proposal constitutes development and if it requires permission.

Relevant policy

Relevant policy is found in Planning Policy Statement 4: Industrial Development (DOE March 1997).
The following sections in this document are of relevance:
  • Enterprises on Farm Holding 38-42
  • Small off Farm Rural Enterprises 42-46

Revised policy

This policy has been revised by Planning Policy Statement 4 (Revised) Industry, Business and Distribution (DOE Jan 2003) but remains currently in draft form.
The following policies in this document are of relevance:
Get Adobe Reader software (link opens in a new browser window)