Dan Yates

In June 2020, the UK Government announced that Permitted Development Rights (PDR) would be extended from 28 days to 56 in England for the remainder of the year, to help the rural economy recover from the pandemic.

In practical terms, the change enabled farmers and other land-based businesses to carry out some kind of diversification activity on their land for up to 56 days each year without having to apply for planning permission. Previously, the limit had been 28 days.

Planning permission was granted on this farmhouse after an appeal

Before farmers can diversify, there's one very important hoop they will almost certainly have to jump through before any building work can begin – planning permission. The Batcheller Monkhouse planning team in West Sussex has a 100% success rate in diversification applications, including tourist accommodation, wedding venues, micro-distilleries, storage, workshops and residential dwellings. Here’s why even the most challenging of planning applications can be approved, with the right help…

The South Downs National Park is widely known for its open downland, steep chalk scarps and far-reaching views across the English Channel. This iconic landscape draws in thousands of visitors each year, but a study undertaken in 2018 found that only around 22% of overnight stays are within the park itself.

Farmer on tractor using rural site for children's tractor rides

Davies & Co can help. 

They have a national reputation for assisting with diversification and have extensive experience in overcoming planning   permission restrictions. These include building on agricultural land, 

(including Green Belt ) and specialising in rural planning & development, rural property investment, business rates & appeals.

Change of use from farm to Leisure is challenging but Davies & Co can help with planning permission, ways to avoid the pitfalls, provide advice on planning policies, grant aid, and offer guidance on compliance regulations.

Tractor on a family farm

Deciding what to do with the farm in future years is one of the biggest challenges in the UK’s farming community: should it be held by the family and the farming continue, should it be sold, could a suitable tenant be found and the farm handed over to them, or are there other options?

Whilst farmers cannot always expect the next generation to take on the family business, many are keen to keep the farm within the family. With this in mind, planning who will run the farm in the future is becoming an increasingly pressing issue. However, alternatives to selling the farm can offer exciting prospects.

UK farming desperately needs new entrants in order to maintain competitiveness, energy and innovation – without losing the wisdom of the established farmers. Many farm and estate businesses who bring in fresh pairs of hands have benefited from the new approaches and different perspectives that passionate new entrants can bring.

An outdoor wedding - one rural diversification option

Becka Wright, Creative Manager at Appetite Me, on entering into rural diversification in a seemingly saturated market…

With more and more land owners and farmers looking into diversifying their land and business in order to secure a more financially stable future it can leave you questioning what new ways can you expand your business, especially when so many markets seem over saturated. However, there are new trends and ideas being developed all the time, below we talk about the trends we are seeing in farming diversification.