Livestock 2012: Top tips for dealing with planning permission

 When proposing a livestock building, there are lots of planning issues to consider. In common with other agricultural buildings, livestock buildings will either be “permitted development” and subject to the “prior notification” procedure, or require specific planning permission.

In many cases, a full planning application will not be required and a building can be put up under the prior notification procedure. After applying to the local planning authority for a determination as to whether prior approval is needed, one of the following needs to apply before any development may commence:

  • A receipt from the authority to state prior approval to the siting, design and external appearance of the building is not needed.

  • Within 28 days, the authority has stated that prior approval is needed and the giving of such approval.

  • The expiry of 28 days following the date at which the application was received without notification from the authority regarding its determination.

Where development is permitted, the developer must notify the local planning authority in writing, and within seven days of the date on which the development was substantially completed.

It must be noted, however, that if the use of the building or extension for purposes other than agriculture within the unit permanently ceases within ten years from the date that the building was completed, and no planning permission has been granted to retain it, then the building shall be removed from the land and the land, as far as practical, be restored to its original condition before the development took place.

If you require a livestock building where any of the following points apply, a planning application will be required:

  • The ground area covered exceeds 465m2 (including the area of any other buildings or structures which have been provided within the preceding two years and are within 90m of the proposed building).

  • The building exceeds a height of 12m, or 3m if within 3km of an aerodrome.

  • Any part of the building is within 25m of a metalled part of a trunk or classified road.

  • Any part of the building is within 400m of a protected building (for example occupied by people unconnected with an agricultural unit).

  • It would be on a separate parcel of land (within the unit) which is less than one hectare in area.

  • It would involve excavations or engineering operations on land which is connected with fish farming.

In both circumstances, the building must be reasonably necessary for agriculture and designed for agricultural purposes. For animal welfare requirements, correct design must always be taken into consideration and suitable materials and cladding – both type and colour – must be used. For a full application, the requirement for the building will need to be justified, possibly with an agricultural appraisal and assessment of other buildings available. If existing buildings have been let for commercial uses, planning on these may need regularising first, and justification provided as to why these would not be suitable , for example insufficient eaves height.

To ensure a robust application, the building will need a safe access route and must be appropriately located in the landscape, for example not alone on the brow of a hill. This will be particularly important in special landscape designation areas and in the greenbelt. Environmental considerations for effluent run off will also need to be addressed.

Top planning tips 

1) Prepare and be honest about plans
2) Identify who the most important stakeholders are such as local MPs, NGOs and local councillors
3) Decide on some communication rules: 
 a) Prepare materials with facts and figures
 b) Identify concerns from different groups and tailor communication
 c) Find out what others in industry will do for you and don’t assume they will support you
 d)  Be wary of getting into public debates
 e) Be aware of the wider media agenda
4) Communicate
 a) Use a variety of communication channels – newsletters, website, bus trips to demonstrate facilities
 b) Do this early
5) Respond
 a) Be available, be responsible and be focussed
 b) Understand concerns
 c) Answer all questions clearly
 d) Be prepared to move your position
6) Ask yourself whether you have got safe access for your scheme and how much extra traffic will be generated
7) Consider the landscape and visual effects of your plan
8) Think about the issue of smell
9) What are your plans for slurry disposal?
10) What will the effect be on biodiversity?
11) Will flies be an issue?

For more on the Livestock 2012 event

For more news and information about the Livestock 2012 event see our dedicated page