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planning permission


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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.

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Horses in a field - diversification can turn rural land into houses

Keeping the great British farming industry alive is imperative for rural communities and to support the challenges being faced, many farmers are looking to diversify

Gavin Leverett, Managing Director at Serenity Parks, a leaning provider of gated community living for over 45's, discusses how this can be achieved in partnership with the farming community and the benefits that can be delivered by diversifying into a business that supports retirement to rural communities

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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.

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farm diversification - tax

Ensure you carefully consider the long-term tax consequences of farm diversification projects before embarking on a new project

There are many ways in which farmers can look to diversify and for those that choose the right options, the benefits can be substantial. 

A study by DEFRA Farm Business in 2017 revealed more than 60 per cent of UK farms had made the decision to diversify, highlighting how many businesses operating in the agricultural sector are looking for new ways to boost income streams.  When undertaking any new business venture, it is always important to look at the possible implications and to do thorough research before making a decision.

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Farm land

You have decided upon your diversification project but your proposed development will require you to recover possession of land that is currently occupied by a tenant or licensee. What steps do you need to take?

If your land is agricultural land then your tenant is likely to be occupying as an agricultural tenant either under an agricultural holding under the Agricultural Holdings Act 1986 or a farm business tenancy under the Agricultural Tenancies Act 1995. 

If your tenant has a farm business tenancy (FBT) the agreement might also include a break clause that entitles you to bring it to an end early. If there is no break clause then you will need to consider the appropriate method for bringing it to an end and this will depend on whether it is a fixed term tenancy or a periodic tenancy and on the length of the tenancy term or duration of the periods, as different rules will apply. 

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diversifying to boost income

Carter Jonas, the national property consultancy, and Farmers Weekly, the market leading media brand for the UK agriculture industry, have unveiled that more than two thirds (68%) of farmers and landowners have diversified to support and boost income. The findings are from a new survey completed by 250 Farmers Weekly readers.

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Glamping Pod at The Farm Business Innovation Show 2019

The Farm Business Innovation Show is Europe’s leading event for farmers, landowners and estate owners looking to find creative new ways to generate revenue from their land and need expert advice to make it happen! Voted ‘Trade Show of the Year’ by the EN Awards in 2016, the show is returning to NEC in Birmingham on the 6th & 7th November 2019 and is still completely free to attend.

Diversification in the world of farming and rural business is the act of finding new streams of income that can be added in order to increase income and keep the traditional farm running. These revenue streams can range from family attractions to weddings or even renting your outbuildings as office space... The opportunities are endless! 

This event provides rural entrepreneurs with the inspiration, resources and advice needed to diversify, innovate and succeed through 200 seminars, 500 inspiring exhibitors, case studies of people who have been there and done it, and expert advice on everything from planning permission to setting up a website. 

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Andy Sutton from Sutton Hospitality Consultants

Andy Sutton, founder of Sutton Hospitality Consultants lives and breathes hospitality and leisure – it has been his passion for 25 years. His proven track record for achieving great results spanning the holiday park, leisure and theme park industry commands him enviable respect amongst his industry peers and competitors.

Andy’s projects are built from the ground up; firm foundations and careful planning, land development with specialisms in Greenfield Site and Unique Accommodation. Taking a piece of land, planning, developing, building, sales, marketing and then selling an established park with an increase of 130% - all in only 3 years is one of Andys proudest achievements. 

When it comes to alternative and unique accommodation - the quirkier the better! Sutton Hospitality Consultants have a great eye for recognising the potential in unusual and obscure projects. They share with you knowledge and expertise to help you to realise your unconventional and alternative accommodation potentialTheyve even converted metal freight containers into castles!

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Caroline Hawcroft on Renewable Diversification of Agricultural Land

Despite the USA’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreements, the rest of the western world remains committed to tackling climate change and continuing to invest in forms of energy production, which do not contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.

Currently, around 30% of the UK’s energy production is from renewable sources, second only to gas. The main sources of this green energy are, of course, from wind, hydro-electric power, solar, and to a lesser extent from anaerobic digestion and heat pumps. Although capacity for renewable energy production is increasing year-on-year, with 69% of UK land currently used for agricultural purposes, there is clearly room to go further, and for the farming community to play a role in delivering the much-sought carbon neutral future.