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Planning for Rural Business Development

Farm Diversification

The UK's departure from the EU and the introduction of the Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELMS) has prompted many farmers and landowners to explore new avenues for increasing profitability.

For some farmers with access to robust infrastructure, this might entail focusing on high-yield crop cultivation or livestock production, or adopting regenerative agriculture practices to boost profitability while reducing inputs. For others, diversification is crucial for the financial sustainability of their holdings.

Diversification can manifest in various forms, such as utilising land for Biodiversity Net Gain, species translocation, renewable energy generation, tourism, wedding venues, business units, storage facilities, retail ventures, or equestrian activities, among others.

The decision to pursue diversification requires a robust business case and a willingness to embrace the chosen enterprise. Planning approval is often the next challenge.

At The Rural Planning Practice (RPP), we have extensive experience in evaluating sites, particularly in sensitive locations, to assist clients in the decision-making process.

Once a decision is made, we offer specialist knowledge and expertise to design and support planning applications for various types of businesses.

Holiday accomodation
A snow covered farm.

Agriculture, Forestry and Other Rural Businesses

We boast extensive experience supporting a diverse array of rural businesses, spanning farms, vineyards, micro-breweries, farriers’ forges, saddle makers, and biochar producers.

Rural tourism is thriving, with holiday lets presenting a valuable income stream for landowners. Our proven track record in this sector includes repurposing redundant buildings into holiday accommodations and setting up shepherds’ huts and other forms of glamping.

Certain businesses may necessitate on-site accommodation for rural workers. Crafting a compelling case for this requires a thorough understanding of the business and the local area. We are well-equipped to provide expert guidance, having successfully handled numerous such applications.

Shoots & Game Rearing

In planning terms, game rearing falls under the category of non-agricultural activities. Unlike agriculture, exemptions from planning controls and business rates typically don't extend to land primarily used for shooting purposes.

If you're contemplating game rearing on land previously designated as agricultural, you'll need to apply for a change of use, along with securing planning permission for any permanent structures or buildings.

Our team specialises in conducting site assessments for game farms, shoot grounds, and drives. We offer guidance on identifying suitable locations within the farm for approval, as well as addressing conservation and biodiversity considerations integral to the application process.

Pheasant in a field
Rural Planning

Case Studies

Examples of how we’ve recently helped clients with rural planning projects



Successful Application for a New Access in The Cotswolds

Cotswold District Council
16th November 2021



Removal of Agricultural Occupancy Condition

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council
13th December 2022

Let's Discuss Your Planning for Rural Business Development

Contact The Rural Planning Practice for professional and bespoke rural planning solutions.