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Author Topic: What is agricultural land and how can it be used?  (Read 417 times)

deadtomorrow

  • Joined Oct 2020
What is agricultural land and how can it be used?
« on: October 12, 2020, 03:37:48 pm »
Hiya everyone!

We are in the process of buying a little small holding with 4 acres of land made up of two fields.

I'm still a bit confused as to what you can and can't use agricultural land for. I'd like to use it for growing both ornamental plants as a garden and also for growing vegetables and fruit.

In an ideal world I would like to put up a potting shed, a slightly larger poly tunnel than is there now and maybe a small glasshouse one day. Which could all be temporary structures. Otherwise we don't plan on any buildings or major landscaping.

Does that all sound as if it is allowed? I've read that agricultural land means for livestock as well as 'horticulture, orchards and crops' which seems to cover what we're thinking?

Thank you :)

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
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Re: What is agricultural land and how can it be used?
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2020, 04:57:32 pm »
You don't say which area you are in - I think there may be differences across the UK, but generally unless there are agricultural restrictions on your land (Ties) I don't think anyone will bother you. 

One of the agricultural solicitors has this on their website - "'Agriculture' is defined as: “horticulture, fruit growing, seed growing, dairy farming, the breeding and keeping of livestock (including any creature kept for the production of food, wool, skins or fur, or for the purpose of its use in the farming of land) the use of land as grazing land, meadow land, osier land,"


https://www.clarkewillmott.com/blog/agricultural-vs-equestrian-use-planning-law/
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

bj_cardiff

  • Joined Feb 2017
  • Carmarthenshire
Re: What is agricultural land and how can it be used?
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2020, 06:22:55 pm »
Not answering the question really... but..  but as a fellow smallholder I would say that you should make friends with all of your new neighbours, and quietly do as you would like with the land (within reason), and with as little impact as possible and see if anyone objects. As soon as you start questioning 'am I allowed to do this' the answer is usually that you will need to apply for 'this' and 'this' and that opens up a dialoge. 

arobwk

  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow. If your half-term booking has not been cancelled, please please adhere to social distancing & masking & frequently sterilise your hands.
Re: What is agricultural land and how can it be used?
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2020, 06:40:36 pm »
Flashing lights "... as a garden ..." flashing lights.  Planning permission required to change agri' land into a garden !  Also @deadtomorrow , these days, "temporary" means months:  the expectation is that temporary structures will actually be moved regularly rather than just be capable of being moved.

Getting away with minor structures on the land will most likely depend on whether any neighbours take umbrage (as suggested by bj_cardiff).











« Last Edit: October 13, 2020, 07:00:37 pm by arobwk »

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: What is agricultural land and how can it be used?
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2020, 08:04:59 pm »
I can't speak for the other countries, but in England you will need to go through some process to legally change the curtilage of the house.  (Inside the curtilage is garden, do as you will with it; outside is agricultural land, and may have restrictions on it.)  But loads of folks just do it, and there will almost certainly be some period of time after which it will be too late for the authorities to complain and make you change it back.   Just be aware that you could be at risk of being made to revert to the original boundaries if you decide to go ahead without approvals.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
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Re: What is agricultural land and how can it be used?
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2020, 09:34:01 pm »
I can't speak for the other countries, but in England you will need to go through some process to legally change the curtilage of the house.  (Inside the curtilage is garden, do as you will with it; outside is agricultural land, and may have restrictions on it.)  But loads of folks just do it, and there will almost certainly be some period of time after which it will be too late for the authorities to complain and make you change it back.   Just be aware that you could be at risk of being made to revert to the original boundaries if you decide to go ahead without approvals.
But that could go to litigation and take years
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: What is agricultural land and how can it be used?
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2020, 08:39:17 am »
You do need PP in Scotland to change agri to garden - here in Angus, you won't get PP for that.

deadtomorrow

  • Joined Oct 2020
Re: What is agricultural land and how can it be used?
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2020, 05:07:40 pm »
Thank you everyone, this is a really helpful discussion.

I'm struggling to find an official webpage anywhere that explains for sure what agri land can be used for. Most of what I want to do is grow veg, fruit, plus grow ornamental plants for breeding and eventual sale. Which I 'think' is all allowed?

bj_cardiff

  • Joined Feb 2017
  • Carmarthenshire
Re: What is agricultural land and how can it be used?
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2020, 06:19:02 pm »
Just to throw a spanner into the works.. are you sure its agricultural, four acres could be a pony field - which is a different classification to agricultural!

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: What is agricultural land and how can it be used?
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2020, 08:00:59 pm »
Just to throw a spanner into the works.. are you sure its agricultural, four acres could be a pony field - which is a different classification to agricultural!


Actually just grazing a horse/pony on a field is agricultural. Grazing animals is classed as an agricultural activity, be it cattle, sheep, alpacas, or even something you might regard as not agricultural in the least. So long as it grazes then it is agricultural.
However, charging  for keeping equines, ie having a livery, is a business and as such is not classed as agricultural and requires planning permission.
There are actually, from a planning point of view, 6 different classes of equine keeping, but very few people know of them all.
I know this isn't exactly what was being asked, but thought I'd mention it in case you were thinking of equines among your other options.
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

arobwk

  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow. If your half-term booking has not been cancelled, please please adhere to social distancing & masking & frequently sterilise your hands.
Re: What is agricultural land and how can it be used?
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2020, 08:29:24 pm »
Clearly you are still alive today @deadtomorrow so I would offer the thought that practically anything can be grown on agri' land although sometimes it becomes horticulture, but horticulture is OK and does not constitute change of use (despite a jnr member of the Cornwall Planning team once telling me otherwise - I corrected him, but never received an apology).


However, if you are going to plant up ornamentals make sure they are in rows (not curvy-edged beds) !!!


Intensive planting of trees over many acres could well require Forestry Commission sanction though. 


Someone here reported that their veg' plot was once considered to represent a change of use:  I would say that was bureaucracy gone mad, but again make any veg plot look like you mean business - a single pyramid of runner beans is gardening to any bloody-minded neighbour or planning official !!  :D

deadtomorrow

  • Joined Oct 2020
Re: What is agricultural land and how can it be used?
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2020, 03:08:35 pm »
Thanks for the advice. At the moment I am mainly thinking of using it for:

Growing vegetables and cut flowers for us and for some sale locally.
Planting a small orchard for growing fruit (mainly apples) for us and sale locally.
And breeding and growing plants for sale (probably as trade plants, not in shops).

Which I 'think' is all acceptable, it's very confusing without proper guidance. But perhaps the wooliness is a good thing too...

arobwk

  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow. If your half-term booking has not been cancelled, please please adhere to social distancing & masking & frequently sterilise your hands.
Re: What is agricultural land and how can it be used?
« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2020, 04:01:40 pm »
It doesn't get woolly when it comes to breeding/selling to the trade.  It might depend on what types of plants, BUT the rules regarding Plant Passports, in order to sell-on to other growers/traders, and APHA inspections of nurseries get ever tighter !  (Not sure how Brexit will affect the rules, BUT there will be rules to help prevent the spread of and/or trace the source of noxious plant diseases.)
« Last Edit: October 22, 2020, 05:40:18 pm by arobwk »

Possum

  • Joined Feb 2012
  • Somerset
Re: What is agricultural land and how can it be used?
« Reply #13 on: Today at 04:57:56 pm »
In England, horticulture is regarded as agriculture for planning purposes. So your growing proposals would not be a change of use.


Polytunnels are regarded as temporary structures unless you use concrete to secure the metal poles in the ground. This is very rarely necessary so planning permission is not needed. Not sure about greenhouses so maybe best to stick to a polytunnel.

arobwk

  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow. If your half-term booking has not been cancelled, please please adhere to social distancing & masking & frequently sterilise your hands.
Re: What is agricultural land and how can it be used?
« Reply #14 on: Today at 08:25:49 pm »
I reckon @Possum that planning regs have caught up with poly-tunnels with or without fixed foundations.  If ya don't move it routinely it's now subject to planning approval I reckon.  Of course, I shall be happy to hear otherwise!

 

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