March 19, 2012 by Adam Hill in forum Planning Forum

#183 Adam Hill, 19 March 2012, 15:37

I am wanting to buy some land (as cheap as possible) and convert it to farmland, build pollytunnels and maybe a few other buildings and possibly a house to live in. There is lots of land for sale very cheap but under the header of greenbelt, greenfeild, grazing, paddocks and other headings. Any land designated as 'farmland' seems to be 10x the price. Can I get this cheaper land and then get it redesignated easily? Whats should I be looking for? Thanks Adam

#206 Anthony clarkson ACLA ltd, 19 April 2012, 13:03

Hi Adam

firstly if the land is cheap it would usually mean its dificult to get planning approval or change of use. As a landscape architect specialising in planning for rural developments I have dealt with similar issues many times.

Green belt and AONB has very comprehensive restrictions relating to development depending upon the local area. Planning permission relating to an existing agricultural building such as a farm is usually easier to get if its relating to the divesification of the farm such as holiday cottages or small business units.

Any development which could have an impact on the wider landscape may require a Landscape & Visual Impact Assessment to minimise imapcats if the council don't throw the application out straight away.

Polytunnels are another problem. They are now classes as permanant development similar to buildings if they are on an agricultural scale. I think the scale and area is on a case by case basis. For commercial polytunnels a recent high court case recommends an expensive full Environmental Impact Assessment if the land has not previously been used for polytunnels in the AONB.

For planning approval for a house it usually should relate to agricultural/equestrian etc.. use. You can knock an old farm house down and rebuild another 'farm house' on the land as long as you can prove it does not have an adverse impact and usually it is going to be used in connection with the agricultural use. We had a recent application refused because a farm house was to be converted to a none agricultural dwelling and it was out of character with the local area.

Other agricultural building (barns etc) may be constructed within a farm stead but again may require and imapct assessment. recently i gaind approval for barns, equestrian centres and new farm houses all in the AONB, so its not impossible.

These are just some of the issues. Happy to discuss further you'll find contact details on the web under ACLA ltd Wiltshire.

#219 Adam Hill, 15 May 2012, 14:30

Thanks for your reply. The whole thing seems to be designed to keep the poor down and the rich on top. Rant over.

I'm thinking of perhaps a 5acre plot, 1.25 Orchard, 2.25 acre grazing, 1 acre polytunnels and 0.5acre house and garden. Would it be of any benefit to have the "Orchard" trees planted all around the property so it couldn't be seen anyway?

So just to confirm what sort of land should I be looking at if I want todo this? Land with a farm and a farm house already built on it is just astronomically priced.

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