Class A – new agricultural buildings on units of 5 ha or more

 

Are you looking to erect a new agricultural building on your land? If so, Class A of Part 6 could be your saviour.

Class A of Part 6 allows for the erection, extension or alteration of an agricultural building on units of 5 hectares or more. it also allows for the excavation or engineering operations within that agricultural unit. This might include roadways, field access, pipes, cables and similar apparatus. It should also include hard standing, private ways etc., as long as it is for operations within that agricultural unit.

For the description of what is agricultural land or an agricultural unit – see the relevant pages on agricultural land and agricultural units.

Whilst Class A allows for development of an agricultural building on a separate parcel of land, that land must be larger than 1 ha. The entire unit must be 5ha plus or 12.3553 acres plus.

Class A – new agricultural buildings on units of 5 hectares or more

Note that you cannot benefit from a new agricultural building or the extension thereof if you have taken advantage of Class Q or Class S of Part 3 involving conversion of previous agricultural building etc. to residential or a school. Conversion of a barn under Class R to a flexible commercial use, does not prevent a new agricultural building erection.

Any new agricultural building must be for agricultural purposes only and can’t be used for any dwelling.  You can expand or create new up to 1,500 sq m or 1,000 sq m if accommodating livestock or any plant or machinery arising from engineering operations. The height is only limited to 3m by the close proximity to an aerodrome. You do however need to erect said building at least 25 metres from a trunk or classified road. If the building is to be used for livestock it must be 400m away from residential dwellings.

Any works must be reasonably necessary for the purposes of agriculture. You may be expected to justify the scale of the agricultural building compared to the scale of the operation. It goes without saying that an agricultural trade or business should be operating on the land or within the agricultural unit.

 

 

Prior Approval? 

 

You will need prior approval for erection of a new agricultural building or the creation of a private way. If you need assistance with this, please contact us for a fee proposal. We have undertaken these in various locations.

This is a 28 day process. If the extension is not significant (less than 10% increase in size or not a higher roof line) then you will NOT need to seek prior approval, however if this  is on Article 2(4) land you will still need  to seek prior approval. This relates to national parks, the broads and certain areas just outside national parks.

Legislation is clear that this is a 28 day process from the time that the local authority receives a valid application (not from validation). After the 28 days the local authority needs to let you know that either Prior Approval is not required (you can go ahead straight away) or you application is refused (you can appeal or reapply (contact us for help )) or Prior Approval is required. If none of these are given within the 28 days then you have deemed consent and works can start – however I would write and notify the local authority of this fact.

If Prior Approval is required, then the applicant must display the notice on the land for at least 21 days in a 28 day period from the date of notice. You can then commence work. You are recommended to take a photo of the notice perhaps on day 1 and day 21 to establish that you have complied with this element. This then completes the Prior Approval element.

You should then notify the local authority within 7 days of the building being substantially complete.

You must construct the agricultural building or private way / roadway in accordance with the application approved or otherwise within a period of 5 years.

If you do not need prior approval, you should notify the local authority within 7 days of the substantial completion of any extensions to any agricultural building.

 

Increased size from May 2024

As from 21st May 2024, Class A was updated to allow for barns to be erected or enlarged up to 1,500 sq m from the previous 1,000 sq m. If you are however planning on using the barn for livestock, this remains at 1,000 sq m.

Also from this date, the ability to erect or extend a barn where a scheduled monument exist was removed. However until 20th May 2025 this restriction is waived.

Paragraph D / Legislation

 

Whilst Class A does allow for new agricultural buildings on units larger than 5 ha, it is suggested that you ensure that you comply with the current legislation which is detailed below. If unsure book a zoom session with Ian.

Paragraph D refers to agricultural land as land which, before development permitted by this Part is carried out, is land in use for agriculture and which is so used for the purposes of a trade or business, and excludes any dwellinghouse or garden; See more on this page.

Paragraph D refers to “agricultural unit” meaning agricultural land which is occupied as a unit for the purposes of agriculture, including— (a) any dwelling or other building on that land occupied for the purpose of farming the land by the person who occupies the unit, or (b) any dwelling on that land occupied by a farmworker; See more on this page.

Paragraph D contains various other definitions for terms used in Classes A, B & C of Part 6 and should therefore be read in conjunction with this class.

Paragraph D refers to a protected building as any permanent building which is normally occupied by people or would be so occupied, if it were in use for purposes for which it is designed; but does not include—
(a) a building within the agricultural unit; or
(b) a dwelling or other building on another agricultural unit which is used for or in connection with agriculture;

Paragraph D refers to a “significant extension” or “significant alteration” meaning any extension or alteration, as the case may be, of the building where the cubic content of the original building would be exceeded by more than 10% or the height of the building as extended or altered would exceed the height of the original building; For this you will need prior approval.

 

Legislation

 

Class A – agricultural development on units of 5 hectares or more

Permitted development

A. The carrying out on agricultural land comprised in an agricultural unit of 5 hectares or more in area of—
(a) works for the erection, extension or alteration of a building; or

(b) any excavation or engineering operations,

which are reasonably necessary for the purposes of agriculture within that unit.

Development not permitted

A.1 Development is not permitted by Class A if—
(a) the development would be carried out on a separate parcel of land forming part of the unit which is less than 1 hectare in area;

(b) it would consist of the erection or extension of any agricultural building on an established agricultural unit (as defined in paragraph X of Part 3 of this Schedule) where development under Class Q or S of Part 3 (changes of use) of this Schedule has been carried out within a period of 10 years ending with the date on which development under Class A(a) begins;

(c) it would consist of, or include, the erection, extension or alteration of a dwelling;

(d) it would involve the provision of a building, structure or works not designed for agricultural purposes;

(e) the ground area which would be covered by—
(i) any works or structure (other than a fence) for accommodating livestock or any plant or machinery arising from engineering operations would exceed 1,000 square metres; or
(ii) any building erected or extended or altered by virtue of Class A would exceed 1,500 square metres,
calculated as described in paragraph D.1(2)(a) of this Part;

(f) the height of any part of any building, structure or works within 3 kilometres of the perimeter of an aerodrome would exceed 3 metres;

(g) the height of any part of any building, structure or works not within 3 kilometres of the perimeter of an aerodrome would exceed 12 metres;

(h) any part of the development would be within 25 metres of a metalled part of a trunk road or classified road;

(i) it would consist of, or include, the erection or construction of, or the carrying out of any works to, a building, structure or an excavation used or to be used for the accommodation of livestock or for the storage of slurry or sewage sludge where the building, structure or excavation is, or would be, within 400 metres of the curtilage of a protected building;

(j) it would involve excavations or engineering operations on or over article 2(4) land which are connected with fish farming;

(k) any building for storing fuel for or waste from a biomass boiler or an anaerobic digestion system—
(i) would be used for storing waste not produced by that boiler or system or for storing fuel not produced on land within the unit; or
(ii) is or would be within 400 metres of the curtilage of a protected building; or

(l) the erection or extension of a building would be carried out on land or a building that is, or is within the curtilage of, a scheduled monument.

Conditions

A.2—(1) Development is permitted by Class A subject to the following conditions—
(a) where development is carried out within 400 metres of the curtilage of a protected building, any building, structure, excavation or works resulting from the development are not used for the accommodation of livestock except in the circumstances described in paragraph D.1(3) of this Part or for the storage of slurry or sewage sludge, for housing a biomass boiler or an anaerobic digestion system, for storage of fuel or waste from that boiler or system, or for housing a hydro-turbine;

(b) where the development involves—
(i) the extraction of any mineral from the land (including removal from any disused railway embankment); or
(ii) the removal of any mineral from a mineral-working deposit, the mineral is not moved off the unit; (c) waste materials are not brought on to the land from elsewhere for deposit except for use in works described in Class A(a) or in the provision of a hard surface and any materials so brought are incorporated forthwith into the building or works in question.

(2) Subject to sub-paragraph (3), development consisting of—
(a) the erection, extension or alteration of a building;

(b) the formation or alteration of a private way;

(c) the carrying out of excavations or the deposit of waste material (where the relevant area, as defined in paragraph D.1(4) of this Part, exceeds 0.5 hectares); or

(d) the placing or assembly of a tank in any waters, is permitted by Class A subject to the following conditions—

(i) the developer must, before beginning the development, apply to the local planning authority for a determination as to whether the prior approval of the authority will be required as to the siting, design and external appearance of the building, the siting and means of construction of the private way, the siting of the excavation or deposit or the siting and appearance of the tank, as the case may be;

(ii) the application must be accompanied by a written description of the proposed development and of the materials to be used and a plan indicating the site together with any fee required to be paid;

(iii) the development must not begin before the occurrence of one of the following—
(aa) the receipt by the applicant from the local planning authority of a written notice of their determination that such prior approval is not required;
(bb) where the local planning authority give the applicant notice within 28 days following the date of receiving the applicant’s application of their determination that such prior approval is required, the giving of such approval; or
(cc) the expiry of 28 days following the date on which the application under subparagraph (2)(ii) was received by the local planning authority without the local planning authority making any determination as to whether such approval is required or notifying the applicant of their determination;

(iv) where the local planning authority give the applicant notice that such prior approval is required, the applicant must—
(aa) display a site notice by site display on or near the land on which the proposed development is to be carried out, leaving the notice in position for not less than 21 days in the period of 28 days from the date on which the local planning authority gave the notice to the applicant; and
(bb) where the site notice is, without any fault or intention of the applicant, removed, obscured or defaced before the period of 21 days referred to in sub-paragraph (iv)(aa) has elapsed, the applicant is treated as having complied with the requirements of that sub-paragraph if the applicant has taken reasonable steps for protection of the notice and, if need be, its replacement;

(v) the development must, except to the extent that the local planning authority otherwise agree in writing, be carried out—
(aa) where prior approval is required, in accordance with the details approved;
(bb) where prior approval is not required, in accordance with the details submitted with the application; and

(vi) the development must be carried out—
(aa) where approval has been given by the local planning authority, within a period of 5 years from the date on which approval was given;
(bb) in any other case, within a period of 5 years from the date on which the local planning authority were given the information referred to in paragraph (d)(ii).

(3) The conditions in sub-paragraph (2) do not apply to the extension or alteration of a building if the building is not on article 2(4) land except in the case of a significant extension or a significant alteration.

(4) Development consisting of the significant extension or the significant alteration of a building may only be carried out once by virtue of Class A(a).

(5) Where development consists of works for the erection, significant extension or significant alteration of a building and—
(a) the use of the building or extension for the purposes of agriculture within the unit permanently ceases within 10 years from the date on which the development was substantially completed; and

(b) planning permission has not been granted on an application, or has not been deemed to be granted under Part 3 of the Act, for development for purposes other than agriculture, within 3 years from the date on which the use of the building or extension for the purposes of agriculture within the unit permanently ceased,

then, unless the local planning authority have otherwise agreed in writing, the building or, in the case of development consisting of an extension, the extension, must be removed from the land and the land must, so far as is practicable, be restored to its condition before the development took place, or to such condition as may have been agreed in writing between the local planning authority and the developer.

(6) Where an appeal has been made, under the Act, in relation to an application for development described in sub-paragraph (5)(b), within the period described in that paragraph, that period is extended until the appeal is finally determined or withdrawn.

(7) Where development is permitted by Class A(a), within 7 days of the date on which the development is substantially completed, the developer must notify the local planning authority in writing of that fact.

 

Agricultural building Page Updated: 8th May 2024

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