Agricultural or pastureland is any land used for farming related activities – this is the basic definition. Getting planning permission on agricultural land is not that easy. There are many reasons, but one of the most important one is that the UK needs to save its agricultural land. We are, after all, ‘green and pleasant’!
One major difference in buying agricultural land to build is price. Agricultural land, depending on location, can cost between £8,000 and £12,000 per acre whereas land with planning permission can be 40 or 50 times that value. So now you can understand the attraction!
It is true, agricultural land is much cheaper and you could save a lot of money by buying pasture land and building a house on it but we have our reservations. Below is some information to help you decide if building on agricultural land is for you.
Every council around the country has restrictions on agricultural land and you will have to do a lot of research on planning policies in your area. You can hire a professional to help you areas near you or to hire a professional with experience who can do everything for you. How to know where to search for? Our advice is to invest some time and money and gather all the information about land and possibility of getting planning permission otherwise, you are risking to lose a lot of money without achieving your goal.
Your council should have a plan available on its website where development may be granted. These rules are strict and cannot be changed.
Class Q development
Farm buildings can be converted for residential purposes under class Q development.
Class Q development rights are used to allow farmers to convert unused agricultural buildings to residential use under permitted development rights, like barn conversion for example. Although, this can be done without planning permission, you will have to get a prior approval notice. Local councils must determine the results of an application within 56 days of receipt. However, if they fail to meet this deadline, our advice is to wait to hear from them before you start work on your project.
For planning permission on agricultural land the smartest thing to do would be to hire a professional who will guide you through the whole process.
In order to get planning permission you have to:
- Are there any limitations due to the size of your land.
- Your land should be on the edge of a settlement. This is usually where new development will take place in order to expand a village or town.
- Check with your local planning office, councils have a requirement to review their Local Plans every 20 years.
- Hire an expert!
If you have decided to take a risk and build on your pasture land without getting planning permission first, we must say this is not advisable and you risk losing a lot.
But, the 10 year rule and 4 year rule apply here – we have a blog about these rules – you can read it here. This means, if you have already built on land and lived there for 4 years, or you have lived in a caravan for 10 years you can apply for a Lawful Development Certificate to obtain your right to stay there. This will only work IF no one discovered you and no complaints were made about you being there. Alternatively – you have been discovered and this would probably mean a lot of legal fees – we wonder if it’s actually worth the risk…
So…good luck and start scouring the countryside!