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Agricultural Land Planning and Development

Securing planning consent and then delivering on those plans is not always straightforward. Our agricultural land planning and development experts can give you the best chance of securing consent, as well as guiding you through the whole development process.

With many years of experience advising clients in this sector, the Agricultural Property team at Roythornes have the legal knowledge and commercial acumen to help see your plans to fruition. We can be on hand every step of the way, ensuring you make the right choices to mitigate any risks and make the most of your opportunities.

Drawing on our strong connection to the farming community, in combination with high level expertise in planning and development law, we offer the perfect mix of skills and experience for anyone embarking on a rural land development project.

Our Agricultural Property team can assist with matters including:

  • Agricultural land purchases and sales
  • Land registrations
  • Permitted development rights for farms
  • Planning applications and appeals
  • Financing arrangements
  • Overage agreements
  • Option agreements
  • Diversification projects
  • Renewable energy schemes
  • Dispute resolution
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Environment Agency investigations and prosecutions

Get in touch with our agricultural planning and development experts

For expert assistance with agricultural land planning and development, please contact our team in Alconbury, Birmingham, Nottingham, Peterborough or Spalding.

Our agricultural land planning and development expertise

Agricultural land purchases and sales

We can guide you through the whole process of buying and selling agricultural land, ensuring you can achieve favourable terms, mitigate any risks and complete the transaction on a timescale that matches your objectives.

Land registrations

Our team has extensive experience with land registrations, having regularly assisted clients with registering previously unregistered land and resolving land registration issues.

Permitted development rights for farms

We can advise on all aspects of permitted development rights for farms, including whether a proposed developments falls within these rights. We can also support clients through every stage of a development to make sure it stays within the guidelines for permitted developments.

Planning applications and appeals

As well as assisting with agricultural permitted development, our experts can also advise on planning permission for agricultural buildings and all types of non-agricultural developments. We work with landowners and developers to maximise the likelihood of securing planning and have strong expertise in planning appeals.

Financing arrangements

Getting the right financing is critical to the success of a development. We can advise on the terms of any finance, ensuring that it meets your needs with no potential risks that could harm your commercial interests further down the line.

Overage agreements

Whether you are the buyer or seller of agricultural land, it is important that any overage agreement matches your long-term commercial interests. We can assist with negotiating, drafting and reviewing overage agreements, making sure you get the right terms.

Option agreements

Entering into an option agreement can be advantageous for both the prospective buyer and seller of a piece of agricultural land, but the terms must match the potential value of the land if planning were to be granted. Our team can assist with negotiating, drafting and reviewing option agreements to make sure they are fair to your interests.

Diversification projects

Diversification is an increasing necessity for many farm businesses, but it is important to fully consider the opportunities and risks of different options. Our team has advised clients on many different diversification schemes, so can ensure clients go into any project with their eyes open with the best chance of success.

Renewable energy schemes

Renewable energy schemes can be an attractive option, but they are rarely simple to put into place. We can advise landowners on partnering with power companies, as well as advising renewable energy companies on every aspect of a scheme, from the planning stage, through to issues such as Power Purchase Agreements.

Dispute resolution

Where there is a dispute or potential for a dispute over agricultural planning or any other aspect of a development, our team can step in. We can offer early advice to avoid disputes or achieve early settlement, as well as having the skills to support clients through every stage of litigation, including alternative dispute resolution and court proceedings.

Regulatory compliance

Drawing on expertise from across the firm, we can advise on all aspects of regulatory compliance, including environmental regulations. This helps to ensure your development can proceed without the risk of regulatory action.

Environment Agency investigations and prosecutions

We are experienced in supporting clients through Environment Agency investigations and prosecutions. As such, we can help to ensure clients comply with the requirements of an investigation, minimise the likelihood of a prosecution and provide expert representation if a prosecution cannot be avoided.

How agricultural land planning and development works

Can you get planning to build on agricultural land?

This will depend on the circumstances and is often not straightforward. It may be that you can build under permitted development rights associated with agriculture or you may need to make a planning application, depending on the nature of the building work you want to carry out. Our team will be happy to advise on your options and guide you through any necessary planning application that you may need to make with the help of specialist planning consultants.

What buildings can I put on agricultural land?

Under permitted development rights, you can build, extent or alter a building if your farm is above 5 hectares and the development is for temporary use of the land, agricultural buildings beneath a certain size or forestry buildings. This may also apply to building caravan sites and related buildings depending on the circumstances.

What size agricultural building can I build without planning permission?

There are different classes of permitted development rights for farms – classes A, O, Q, R and S. Class A relates to agricultural buildings, while the other classes relate to non-agricultural uses. Exactly what you can build or what size of existing agricultural building you can convert will depend on the applicable class.

What structures can be built on agricultural land in the UK?

Under permitted development rights, buildings for agricultural use can be built on qualifying farmland, as long as certain restrictions are adhered to. It may also be possible to convert farm buildings to offices, a home, flexible commercial use e.g. as a restaurant, café or storage, state-funded school or registered nursery.

Structures for other purposes or that do not meet the conditions for permitted development will require planning permission.

When do I need planning permission on agricultural land?

You will usually need planning permission if you wish to change the use of buildings from farming purposes or if you wish to build residential property on the land, except where such plans are covered by permitted development rights.

Why choose Roythornes for agricultural planning and development?

Roythornes’ Agricultural Property team offer high level expertise in planning and development, honed over many years of experience working with a wide range of clients. We know the challenges you are likely to face and the best ways to deal with them, offering straightforward legal support to help you achieve your business goals.

Memberships and fellowships held by the Roythornes’ Agricultural Property team include:

  • The Agricultural Law Association (ALA)
  • The Country Land and Business Association (CLA)
  • The National Farmers’ Union of England and Wales (NFU)
  • The British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC)
  • The Worshipful Company of Farmers
  • The Farmers Club
  • The Countryside Alliance

We are proud to be acknowledged by the Law Society Lexcel accreditation, which recognises our commitment to providing top-quality practice management and client care. We have also received the Customer Service Excellence award.

Get in touch with our agricultural planning and development experts

For expert assistance with agricultural land planning and development, please contact our team in Alconbury, Birmingham, Nottingham, Peterborough or Spalding.