Commercial Conference

What is an agricultural unit?

 

What is an agricultural unit? Does my other field qualify? What if I have a road, river or houses separating my land? What happens if I am renting a field – does it qualify?

agricultural unit

 

After you can confirmed that the use of your land is agricultural, you might want to see how large your unit actually is.

Within Class Q, Class R & Class S of Part 3 an agricultural unit is described as ‘agricultural land occupied as a unit for the purposes of agriculture‘.

Within Class A, Class B and Class C of Part 6 an agricultural unit is described as ‘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;’

With the GPDO it is always important to check the definition of words and phrases as this might affect your usage. For example in Part 6 you can include any dwellings occupied by farmworkers.

 

Multiple parcels of land in the agricultural unit?

The good news however is that an agricultural unit can be formed of various parcels of land farmed by you and does not have to relate only to the field or parcel of land where you intend to exercise your permitted development rights.

What if the land is owned by someone else or is on another title. That should not matter as long as it is all farmed by you and is part of the same agricultural unit. You should expect to be able to demonstrate a formal tenancy of the land, which probably needs to be multi-year. If the field is owned and farmed by your mate from the local hostelry then no – it will not be part of the same agricultural unit. Sorry!

The various parcels of land can be divided by rivers, roads or even houses to still form part of the same unit.  It might be pushing it a bit if they are in different town, but it could be the next village in a rural setting. The important factor is that they must be one unit.

It is worth pointing out a couple of important elements. With regards to converting barns your are limited the amount of conversions per agricultural unit, therefore this needs to be carefully considered. Also with regards to Class A and Class B of part 6 different rights apply to whether your agricultural unit is over or under 5 hectares. So you might wish to add these up carefully. The Magic website from Defra has a mapping tool to assist you in this task. If your agricultural unit is less than 0.4ha then unfortunately Part 6 of the GPDO will not apply.

Finally in Class A you do need to ensure that any development is on land greater than 1ha as long as the overall unit is 5ha or more.

For 5 hectares or 12.3553 acres or more check out Class A of Part 6 for permitted development rights or Class Q, Class R & Class S for conversion of buildings.

For under 5 hectares or 12.3553 acres and over 0.4 hectares or 0.988 acres check out Class B of Part 6 for permitted development rights or Class Q, Class R & Class S for conversion of buildings.

 

 

 

 

Agricultural Unit Page Updated: 8th January 2024

 

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