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PPS 11: Planning and Waste Management
Annex D - Agricultural Permitted Development

D1 Under the Planning (General Development) Order (Northern Ireland) 1993, a planning application is not required for the carrying out, on agricultural land comprised in an agricultural unit, of engineering operations reasonably necessary for the purposes of agriculture.
D2 Agricultural land improvement can fall into this category provided the Department is satisfied that the following conditions are met:
  • The development is on an agricultural land holding of at least 0.5 hectares in area;
  • No part of the development is within 24 metres from the nearest part of a special road, or within 24 metres of the middle of a trunk or second-class road or 9 metres from the middle of other classes of road;
D3 In deciding whether or not such land improvement is reasonably necessary for the purposes of agriculture or amounts to a separate land use activity in its own right the Department will take the following considerations into account:
  • whether the amount of material brought onto the site is the minimum required to achieve the needed improvement; and
  • the nature of the material being deposited; and
  • the extent, scale and duration of the operations involved; and
  • the quality of the agricultural land being filled; and
  • whether the landowner is a farmer actively engaged in farming operations on the holding.
D4 The Department will consider the circumstances of each case very carefully to ensure that the proposed development is required for genuine agricultural purposes. The introduction of Landfill tax has led to a number of applications to deposit waste on agricultural land to avoid payment of the tax. Farmers should confirm with HM Customs and Excise whether or not landfill tax is payable or should register with the District Council as an exempt activity.
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