PPS 4 (Draft): Industry, Business and Distribution
Policy IBD 7
Justification and Amplification
4.27 The agricultural industry continues to undergo substantial changes. Changes in farm income levels and price support, as well as the development of new techniques and continued rationalisation, have led many farmers to look for alternative sources of income to supplement that derived from farming. Some farmers have responded by diversification into non-agricultural activities located on the farm holding. The Executive is committed to supporting this process of diversification where it is compatible with other objectives for the countryside.
4.28 In encouraging economic diversity and agricultural diversification, it is important that the countryside of Northern Ireland is not spoilt by the unfettered development of urban uses. Diversification proposals, therefore, should be of a scale and nature appropriate for the location and be capable of satisfactory integration into the rural landscape.
4.29 Planning permission will be granted for appropriate farm diversification enterprises in situations where the project is clearly tied to an existing farm holding or occupant. A new enterprise will need to be modest in scale and have no significant adverse impact on the locality. A new building will not be permitted in Green Belts and Countryside Policy Areas and elsewhere only where existing farm buildings are not available to accommodate the proposed use, either because they are essential for the maintenance of the existing farm enterprise or are clearly unsuitable for adaptation and re-use. In such situations the new building must be located in or adjacent to an existing group of buildings, be of compatible scale and design and blend satisfactorily into the landscape.