21 February 1997

Preparation is quickest route

to permission

Preparation is the key to achieving planning permission for stalls-and-tethers conversions quickly. Jonathan Riley continues our series which follows a conversion from conception to completion.

PLANNING permission for conversions should progress smoothly.

But, warns Bury St Edmunds-based ADAS planning consultant Brian Barrow, it can take two years or more if objections from planners and public arise and an appeal is necessary.

"The first step is to assess whether planning permission is necessary. It may only be necessary to inform the local authority of proposed modifications via the prior approval scheme," says Mr Barrow.

Prior approval involves a simple notification procedure allowing the local authority to comment on siting, design and external appearance.

When planning permission is needed the minimum information required is a site plan, a full plan of the proposed building and existing buildings with measurements drawn to scale and an ownership certificate.

These should be sent to the local authority and a decision on permission will normally be made within eight weeks.

But, when the planner has a query, delays will occur.

"It is far quicker to provide as much information as possible initially than replying to the planners questions and resubmitting," says Mr Barrow.

He advises avoiding outline plans which show only the buildings outer dimensions because these plans will only raise questions.

"Bear in mind that the environment agency, the environmental health department and the highways department will scrutinise the plan and that all will raise questions when information is inadequate."

He suggests including details showing how dirty water will be contained adequately and that land is available for manure disposal.

"Where the farm is near urbanisation modelling for odours and emissions can be carried out, and using Met Office data will show how local weather conditions might reduce the effect of odours.

"It also vital to list any landscaping such as tree planting or earth banks that would help your case. And explain why the conversion is necessary, emphasising that it is a welfare-based project and not to increase production," he adds.

ADAS planning consultant Brian Barrow: Planning permission can take two years or more.


&#8226 On holdings between 0.4-5ha: for most building work unless the cubic content is increased by under 10%.

&#8226 On holdings larger than 5ha if the development is:

– Within 25m of a classified road.

– Within 400m of a house occupied by someone other than the farmer.

– Over 12m high.

– Sited on a parcel of land is less than 1ha

– Building is greater than 465m sq (buildings can be aggregated).