Agricultural permitted development rights - hold your horses
Commercial Property Solictor, Robbie Mather, gives his advice on undertaking provisional works to start an agricultural development.
We’ve all been there; ready to get started on a significant construction project that has been in the pipeline for years and has, as many things do, become critical.
The drawings are complete, the manufacturer has a window of opportunity due to a late cancellation and the construction team want to make the most of the good weather. It sounds like the stars have aligned - finally this project can progress. And then it hits you like a wave of dread – the planning process.
Now, in many cases development associated with agricultural activities is considered to be a ‘given’ – ‘benefiting the rural economy’ and ‘relating well’ to the existing farm buildings. Furthermore, most applications are ‘light touch’ – submitted under the General Permitted Development Order (2015) (GPDO) with a decision being reached within 28 days.
Given the above positive context the temptation might be to undertake some provisional works to start the development. A word of caution, a recent court case ruling confirms that if you do start works then any subsequent decision from the local planning authority would no longer grant you the approval you need. This is on the basis that the GPDO does not authorise the carrying out of any development “any part of which was begun before an application for prior approval was made to the local planning authority”.
Our advice – don’t let the peculiarities of the planning process catch you out.
About the author
Robbie is a Partner and head of the Commercial Property team.