Everything You Need to Know About Planning Permission for Your Farm Building

Understanding planning permission is an important first step in creating your new farm building. Without fully understanding these regulations, you could be breaching UK laws and find yourself in difficulty.

So where to start?

This guide provides a quick and easy checklist of all the steps you need to cover, along with some useful resources that’ll help you get to grips with everything.


The vital first step in planning for a new build, is identifying what you need. The size, purpose and shape of the building is likely to impact what kind of permission you need. For many smaller builds, you won’t need permission and the whole process is very quick and easy. For larger projects, it’s best to know exactly what permission you’re likely to need as soon as you start (to avoid any unwelcoming surprises along the way).

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During this stage, it’s also a good idea to put a budget together and think about how much you’re willing to spend on the build. This will help you understand what type of materials you can use, what size it can be, etc.

At this stage, it’s also useful to note down all the materials, equipment and timescales that are needed for the construction work. Local authorities may be concerned that the building process may negatively impact local habitats, or perhaps, that the materials chosen are not suitable for the local area. By being proactive and having all this information from the start, it can ensure that when you are ready to apply for planning permission, you can give local authorities as much detail as possible, so they understand what your intentions are.

Finally, you want to think about where this building is going to be located. It may be replacing an old building, or extend a current one, or perhaps it’ll be a completely separate build. The location (and its proximity to other buildings/homes) is likely to impact what kind of permission you need. It’s always a good idea to think more long-term and ensure you aren’t going to need to replace the building in a few years time. An extension may be suitable for now, but in 5 years time, you may require more space, in which case, building a new farm building from the start, may be the most cost effective and efficient thing to do.


Roads will have an impact on which permitted development can be built, so ensure you know where all the roads are surrounding the build site and the exact distance they are from it.

Planning Permission

The first thing to note with planning permission is that everything is dealt with on an individual basis. This means although there are guidelines you can follow, you’ll need to get a specific response for your proposed building. This means you should avoid assuming anything. Someone living in a different area may get a proposal agreed, while yours could be declined due to local factors.

In the UK, the best place to start is on gov.uk whereby they have a specific area dedicated to the process of applying for planning permission.

Generally, permitted developments are those that erect, extend or alter building necessary for purposes of agriculture and farming (on 5 acres or more). Using the land for non-agricultural purposes isn’t covered under the permitted development rights and will require full planning permission.


If planning permission is required, you’ll continue your application on the Planning Portal.


Applying for planning permission doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. As long as you are fully prepared and know what you need, it can be a simple and straight forward process.

By providing the local authority with as much detail as possible from the beginning will ensure they don’t need to come back to you with anything and slow the process down. Although you may get away with not needing planning permission, it’s always worth double checking with your local authority as it is a very bespoke process.

Once you’ve got your planning permission and you’re ready to go, check with our experts about the latest deals and recommendations in agricultural buildings.

*Always check the most up-to-date rules and regulations before starting a build.

December 6th, 2016|