Countryside & Agricultural Planning

The Practice offers a range of agricultural planning services related to planning: initial advice, business plans, appraisals and preparation and handling of applications and appeals. We can also design your agricultural building or dwelling. We have extensive experience in estate management and replacement dwellings as well as Para 55 houses.


Project – CLU for non-compliance of Agricultural Occupancy Condition

  • Clients had permission for permanent siting of an agricultural worker’s mobile home
  • Clients ran a small holding but it had virtually ceased production
  • Local Planning Authority had threatened enforcement action for non-compliance with agricultural occupancy condition
  • Clients had previously tried to obtain planning permission for a permanent agricultural worker’s dwelling within the last ten years

Key Issue:

  • How to avoid enforcement action for non-compliance of condition.

The Solution:

As the clients had applied for a dwelling in the last ten years, it could not be shown that there had been no agricultural production during this period.  However, they were advised to submit a CLU on the basis that they had not been solely or mainly employed in agriculture during this period.  This had the benefit that in the event that the CLU failed it would establish the level of agricultural production needed for compliance.  However, the evidence gathered by the Practice was sufficient to demonstrate non-compliance with the condition and the certificate was issued.

Barn Conversions

Project – Mansfield Barn, Shedfield

  • Conversion of a redundant barn to a dwelling
  • Countryside location

Mansfield Barn is a redundant agricultural building standing in splendid rural isolation. It is of traditional timber frame construction with weather boarded walls and a clay tile roof. Lack of use over the years had seen its condition deteriorate but it was still structurally sound and capable of being repaired and re-used.

As a redundant rural building the preferred use in planning policy terms would usually be a commercial or a business use with residential conversion a last resort. However the barn’s isolated position and narrow 1 mile approach drive were major obstacles to such use. Although not a statutory listed building the Council’s Conservation Officer took a very close interest and then four species of Bat and a Barn Owl were found!

In the end residential use was granted planning permission.

Key Issues:

  • Countryside location
  • Overcoming the preferred alternative use for business purposes
  • Historic building worth saving
  • Ecology – Bats and Barn Owls

Design Solution:

Working with the architect Ben Macdonald Associates, the aim was to provide a dwelling that retained the historic and architectural integrity of the building and its agricultural antecedent. As a result, the Barn would clearly appear as a barn in a new use rather than a house with some barn like features.

Country Estates

Over the years the Practice has been engaged and retained by a number of clients to advise on planning policy and development issues for buildings and land owned by rural landowners. The following are examples of the work undertaken.

Rempstone Estate, Dorset

  • Planning permission for three dwellings in Wareham
  • Establishing the lawful status of fishing lakes at Arfleet
  • Establishing the lawful status of racing stables and caravan at Rempstone
  • Inclusion of land for development in Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment – Stoborough
  • Planning advice on various estate properties and land
  • Planning advice on Camp Site at Rempstone Heath
  • Representations on Purbeck Local Development Framework and Local Plan

Malmesbury Estate, Dorset

  • Planning permission for paintball game use at Hurn
  • Establishing lawful use of buildings for commercial use at Hurn
  • Establishing lawful use of former nursery for manufacturing purposes at Hurn
  • Planning and listed building consent for extension of estate cottage at Hurn
  • Planning advice for land at Bournemouth Airport and safeguarding and implementing permission for airport parking
  • Planning advice on mineral extraction at Hurn
  • Representations on Christchurch and Bournemouth Local Plans

Greywell Estate, Hampshire

  • Listed building consent for alteration of barns for events use
  • Advice and representations on Basingstoke BC Farm Diversification policy

Chilbolton Down Farm Estate, Hampshire

  • Series of planning permissions for re-use of redundant agricultural buildings for a variety of commercial uses
  • Representations on Test Valley Local Development Framework

Boughey Estate, Hampshire

  • Planning permission for re-use of redundant agricultural buildings for commercial uses at Abbotts Ann
  • Providing planning advice on relocating a primary school at Abbots Ann
  • Planning advice on re-use of redundant farm buildings at Abbotts Ann
  • Representations on Test Valley Local Development Framework

Great Trippetts, West Sussex

  • Retention of agricultural building
  • Planning permissions for estate tracks
  • Retention of equestrian exercise track
  • Planning witness in Local Inquiry for polo manege and tennis court
  • Additional stable yard
  • Upgrading and extension of estate tracks

Froyle Estate, Hampshire

  • Replacement dwelling at Froyle
  • Planning advice on permission for commercial use of redundant agricultural buildings at Froyle
  • Planning witness in Local Inquiry for game keeping centre and gamekeeper’s dwelling

Exbury Gardens, Hampshire

  • Securing permission for garden railway
  • Establishing lawful use of land as Croquet Lawn

Barfold Farm, Haslemere

  • Mixed use of land for agriculture, forestry and equestrian (polo) use
  • Retention of equestrian track
  • Upgrading and extension of estate tracks
  • New storage barn

Country Houses

The Practice offers specialist planning and policy advice on country houses.

Below is a selection of the type of projects we have undertaken:

Replacement Dwelling – Mayfield Farm, Binley

Acting on behalf of Sandy Soames the Practice was successful in obtaining detailed planning permission for a replacement 6 bedroom ‘georgian’ style house with ancillary staff flat and garage on a 4.25ha site at Binley in Basingstoke District. The house was designed by Adam Architecture with landscape assessment and detailed landscaping scheme drawn up by the late Elizabeth Ford Landscape Architect.

agricultural planning

The site is within the Wessex Downs AONB and contained a collection of 17 former agricultural/ equestrian buildings and two dwellings. Bats were present in one of the dwellings but the scheme included the creation of a bat loft in one of the existing outbuildings to mitigate the effect on bats and make enhanced provision.

The key issues were:

  • Planning policy for replacement dwellings
  • Design
  • Landscape and the AONB
  • Ecology
  • Size and curtilage

Although the officer recommendation was for refusal Members of the Planning Committee were persuaded that the development would truly enhance the area and the environment of the AONB and unanimously granted permission.

Other partners:

Mark Himmens – Adam Architecture

Brigitte Crafer – Elizabeth Ford Landscape Architects

David West – ENIMS ecology

Situated in the Meon Valley, this project involved 700 sq m replacement dwelling, with 500 sq m