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Agricultural Land Development

When it comes to developing your agricultural land, there are several farm diversification examples for you to consider.

In recent times, new farm diversification ideas have come to light, ranging from renewable projects such as wind turbines or solar power to more recreational projects. These can include changing agricultural land into golf courses, glamping sites or fishing ponds, and of course the obvious change of use to residential land.

Permitted Development on Agricultural Land

Before everything else there are several uses which already fall under permitted development on agricultural land. Generally, these apply to farms in excess of five hectares (12 acres) and are known as Class A development.

A classic example would be hard surfacing to enable access to your fields, building grain stores or storage, for machinery. Certain conditions relating to size, siting and materials used must be considered and this is an area we can advise on.

In short, you may extend an existing building including excavation and engineering works such as drainage. This must all be done under the rather grey area of what is ‘reasonably necessary’ and the consequences of not getting clarification on your agricultural building project can be harsh. You may be fined or asked to cease works altogether or even worse, have to demolish your efforts.

Before starting work, call our experienced team and run your project past one of our experts.

For an informal, no obligation chat about your permitted development project, please call us now.

Renewable Energy Projects on Agricultural Land

In this case, full planning permission for change of use to a renewable energy farm is required.

However, this is an excellent opportunity as you’ll be changing your earnings model completely for that area of the land.

The business model typically follows a familiar format where a renewable energy company will lease or buy part of your agricultural land. They will build the infrastructure required and then, sell the power generated to a utility company for a profit.

The most common change of use for renewable energy projects include:

  • Solar Power
  • Wind power

Changing Agricultural Land to a Solar Farm.

Changing your agricultural land to a solar farm is a popular change of use. It’s reasonably unobtrusive and very efficient. There are a number of Government initiatives you might qualify for.

There are, however, several issues to bear in mind that you may not have thought of, such as the right to roam, site safety and the impact on wildlife.

Changing Agricultural Land to a Wind Farm.

Wind turbines! Love them or hate them wind power from farms is hugely efficient. The obvious downside is the aesthetics and you may come under fire from those seeking to keep our landscapes unaltered, so there may be some lobbying to do.

As with a solar farm, there are several key issues that need dealing with.

That said, local authorities can often view them positively, so it’s important to make a good case from the outset.

As an added benefit to converting your land to a renewable source, you will also be receiving free energy from your farmland. So not only will your income be diversified, but you could be saving a small fortune on your own energy consumption.

Our team will be able to guide you through the process including dealing with any queries which are raised by the public. These frequently require specialist knowledge in respect of rights of way and the transfer (or retention), of any entitlement to new or existing subsidies.

It’s our job to make sure you are aware of the positives and the negatives and guide you through the process. If you’re thinking of a solar farm or a wind farm, please call our change of use specialists on 0161 333 4444

Changing Agricultural Land to Recreational Use

There are plenty of choices when it comes to transforming your farmland to recreational facilities, with golf courses and fishing ponds being the most common.

Changing Your Land to a Golf Course.

In the case of a golf course, you are most likely to sell the land to a specialist developer and leave it with them to develop. So, in essence, we are dealing with selling a portion of your land.


We have an expert team for these exact circumstances which specialises in contracts dealing with apportioning and selling farmland. We can advise you not only on the

conveyancing itself but on making sure you live happily and peacefully on the part of the farm you retain.

Changing Your Land to a Fishing Pond.

With this option, you may choose to carry out the works yourself and run it as a separate business. The legalities to be considered here include rights of way, hours of operation and increased traffic management. Furthermore, don’t forget you’ll need good advice on structuring the new income correctly and of course making sure the tax implications are met.

Changing Your Land to a Glamping Site or Farm Vacation.

Facilities can range from the basic to the luxurious and this high end of the market is becoming increasingly popular with UK holidaymakers seeking something a little different.

This option is a popular choice and can provide some of the most profitable acreages on the entire farm.

Whatever you're thinking of, change of use requires special consideration. Lanyon Bowdler has a dedicated in-house team who have great experience which will help you avoid any costly mistakes along the way.

Please call and we can advise you on all aspects of change of use of your agricultural land.

Building Houses on Agricultural Land

Change of use from agricultural land to residential is by far the most common change.

Certain areas of the country have come under a more relaxed approach by local councils with an increased amount of green belt being built on to help the housing shortages.

Of course, full planning permission is required to develop residential property on a farm, so it’s an area of agricultural conveyancing with which we are extremely familiar.

There is also a new class of permitted development called ‘Class Q Permitted Development’ with a more relaxed view when the change is specifically related to converting existing agricultural buildings into new dwellings.

Essentially, you can now build more residential dwellings in place of your existing buildings than you could before.

For our expert agricultural conveyancing team call and let’s discuss your plans.

An Expert Agricultural Law Team

When dealing with any change of use it’s recommended that you partner with an expert agricultural law firm.

As a full-service agricultural law practice, we can offer a broad view of your project and offer services right across the board.

Our well-rounded approach will help in dealing with local authorities, the public and any third parties where a specialist agricultural contract is required.

What’s more, we’re happy to put the wellies on and visit your farm to make sure we fully understand your project.

Contact our specialist agricultural law team for an informal chat today.


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