Bateman Hosegood Ltd

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Planning Changes for farmers

We have been anticipating the extension of permitted development rights to give farmers more flexibility for many months.  We now know that from 21st May the amount of floorspace under the Class Q permitted development process will increase from 865 to 1000 square meters.  In addition, up to 10 homes will be permitted superseding the previous limit of 5.  However, each dwelling will be limited to 150 square meters whereas previously a large’ dwelling was permitted up to 465 square meters.  This is to encourage the conversion of agricultural buildings to be more suited to rural needs.

The rights have not yet been extended to protected landscapes (National Parks) but protected landscapes will benefit from the change to the permitted floorspace of new buildings or extensions on farms over 5ha.  The limit has been increased from 1000 to 1500 square meters.

Flexible commercial use has been increased from 500 to 1000 square meters.  Flexible commercial use includes the processing of raw goods produced on site and to be sold on site, the provision of agricultural training and outdoor sports, recreation and fitness uses within the curtilage of a building.

Bateman Hosegood regularly advise clients on permitted development rights therefore if you are looking to progress a project on your farm do get in touch by phoning 01884 839980 or by email at enquiries@batemanhosegood.co.uk.

New regulations announced by defra

In early March 2024, Defra announced its intention to bring into law regulations for hedgerows on agricultural land, reinstating the requirements of the old Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) cross-compliance rules for hedgerows.

These new regulations will include:

  • Maintaining a two-metre buffer strip from the centre of the hedgerow on which there can be no cultivation or application of pesticides and fertilisers.
  • The hedge cutting ban between March 1st to 31st of August must be adhered to, to protect nesting birds.
  • Exemptions include fields under 2 hectares and hedges under 5 years old, trimming dates and when hedges need to be cut in August allows the sowing of oil seed rape or temporary grass (which still requires a written notice to the RPA – Rural Payments Agency)

In summer 2023, Defra consulted how hedgerow protection should be regulated, receiving over 8,800 responses, highlighting the level of interest in this area.

So, what does this mean for farmers and landowners? For those who claimed BPS, there will be no change to the management requirement of hedgerows. However, the new regulations will apply to all hedgerows, including those on land with no BPS claim, unless they come under the exemptions. Note. You are still required to obtain permission from the Local Planning Authority for the removal of hedgerows.

If you have any questions about hedgerow regulations and would like to get in touch, please contact Bateman Hosegood on 01884 839980 or enquiries@batemanhosegood.co.uk

Landscape recovery schemes - fantastic opportunity or nationalisation of land?

With 34 successful projects going forward for round 2 of the Landscape Recovery Scheme it is imperative for those who have signed up as participants and those who may be approached in the future to consider what they are signing up to.

With many applications being led by NGO’s whose ultimate objectives may some what differ from the farming businesses that have been encouraged to participate it is important that you ensure you are well represented, and that the developing application/agreement is truly of a collaborative nature. 

With circa £700,000 of initial funding being paid out for each project’s 2 year development phase it is vital that those farmers and farm businesses participating in the project ensure that the final scheme is developed to meet their own objectives as well as those of the wider participants. 

Farm productivity formed part of the application  scoring however going forward some projects appear to put very little emphasis on the agricultural activity being carried out on participants land ignoring the unique opportunities to make historically marginal farming businesses more efficient and ultimately profitable.

The landscape recovery scheme does truly offer a great opportunity for large scale landscape change and enhancement however with the majority of agreements being driven by NGO’s it is important that both DEFRA and those participating but not leading on projects ensure that the design of the final 20 year agreement benefits the environment the core farming businesses and the landscape as a whole.

If you have been asked to participate within a landscape recovery project or are considering putting one together yourselves then do not under estimate the potential of the scheme and if you would like to discuss this then please do not hesitate to contact any of the members of Bateman Hosegood who would be happy to advise on 01884 839980 or enquiries@batemanhosegood.co.uk