Securing successful planning permission is becoming an increasingly important challenge for the poultry sector as it looks to expand free-range production to meet rising consumer demand.

But tips and advice will be on hand at this year’s British Pig and Poultry Fair, with NFU planning consultant David Glasson running a free workshop as part of the new forum and workshop programme (see right).

“The planning system is becoming a fact of life for poultry producers whether it is for new housing, manure stores or for those exploring alternative uses and diversification,” says Mr Glasson.

“With an array of legislation and policy, planning permission and its requirements can take a lot of time, but there are many things you can do to help the process run smoothly and avoid lengthy battles.”

The key tips for successful planning are:

  • Prepare the ground before you apply

Rather than submit a “cold” application to your local authority, it is good to prepare the ground with early dialogue, thus ensuring the planning officer gets to know you, your plans and timescale.

  • Engage with the planners

Significant benefits will be gained from pre-application discussions with the planners and specialist consultees like the Environment Agency. Investing in this stage may shape your plans into something which will have a smoother passage through the system. Prior information like illustrative material, as well as awareness of the relevant planning policies, will help avoid an invalid application.

  • Be clear and positive, but be flexible

Listen to any advice and be clear about what you want, but be flexible at the same time.

  • Get professional advice from the outset

Professional planning expertise is a must for guidance on law, policy and tactics. You need to think of any wider impact your plans may have on neighbours and the community, paying particular attention to design and appearance of the site. For example, is it within a designated landscape like a National Park or green belt?

  • Good quality planning applications with supporting materials count

Make sure you provide supporting material and plan the presentation of it. Attention to landscaping can be an afterthought in many schemes, so don’t ruin a good proposal by neglecting this.

  • Allow time and expect delay

Applicants should allow about eight weeks for a decision, but expect delay if objections arise or unforeseen issues come up.

  • Think before making an appeal

Last, if in spite of your best efforts the application is refused, take advice and do not rule out negotiations before pursuing an appeal.

By taking these into account, producers can increase the success of their application, so avoiding costly delays. But if you still have problems, why not pop along to the workshop at 10am on both days of the fair.

Forum and workshop schedule

Organised by RASE with Fair partner ABN

Forums

  • 11am: The Great Feed Debate (Tuesday)
    James Hook (PD Hook), Alan Murphy (ABN) and Adam Couch (Cranswick Food Group)
  • 11am: Producer feed question time (Wednesday)
    James Hook (PD Hook), Rob Lister (pig producer), Frontier and ABN panellists
  • 12-noon: IPPC – what to do now you have your permit?
    Selena Randall and Rob Robinson (Environment Agency)
  • 1pm: NVZ – what it means for you
    Nigel Penlington (BPEX)
  • 2pm: Consumer trends and the future of the industry
    Andrew Carter (Tesco), Finn Cottle and Rob Newell (Noble Foods) plus Sue Corning (PIC)
  • 3pm: Legislation and the outlook for laying hen housing
    Mark Williams (BEIC), Chris Kirkwood (poultry producer Tuesday) and Andrew Joret (Noble Foods Wednesday)

 

Workshops

  • 10am: Planning permission
    David Glasson (planning consultant)
  • 11am: Practical pig health for smaller producers
    Bob Stevenson (pig vet)
  • 12-noon: Farm health planning for poultry producers
    Daniel Parker (poultry vet, Tuesday) and Michael Clarke (Minister Vets, Wednesday)
  • 1pm: New opportunities in the poultry sector
    Mark Gorton (Traditional Norfolk Poultry) and Patrick Bourns (egg producer)
  • 2pm: Muck matters – profiting from organic manures
    Derek Knight (England Catchment Sensitive Farming Delivery Initiative)
  • 3pm: Interactive pig health workshop
    Nigel Woolfendon (Bishopton Vet Group)