SJM Planning is a member of the National Rural Business Forum (NRBF) and has long established rural links. SJM undertakes a growing number of projects within the rural sector and you can also find us on 'The Farming Forum'. Our experience includes new agricultural buildings, farm diversification strategies and permitted development advice. First hand experience comes in the form of George Bryant, our associate who lives on and runs his family smallholding in West Wales. Whether you are looking to use redundant buildings for alternative use, or whether you are looking to expand the enterprise, possibly including residential development, we would be happy to discuss your options with you.
An emerging sector in the leisure and commercial industry is fishery uses. Here at SJM we have started looking at the expansion of existing commercial and leisure fisheries in the South East, with a number of consents recently gained for extensions to existing enterprises. Please do speak to us if you need advise on what to do next on your property.
New Agricultural Dwelling
An interesting case where the retired farming couple wanted to remain on site, and being retired, were able to occupy the main farmhouse under the AOC condition. However, an adjacent former dairy building represented an interesting prospect for conversion and meant they could downsize without having to move away. Following successful negotiations with the Local Planning Authority, SJM Planning obtained planning consent for the conversion of the dairy shed to a small dwelling, and transfer of the AOC to the new property. This meant not only an uplift in value of the main farmhouse, but this could be released to the open market for new homeowners to enjoy the property free of restriction.
The client had brought an existing enterprise and wanted to look at expansion of the business. We were able to seek consent for a new cafe and utility block, with a subsequent permission for a temporary consent to live on site. After 3 years the applicants were successful in obtaining permanent permission to live on the site, a testament to SJM Planning’s methodical and knowledgable approach to strategic planning over time.
In this case, SJM Planning were successful in obtaining consent under the Prior Notification Procedure, for the conversion of an existing barn into 2, 6-bedroom properties with internal garaging. The site lies in Flood Zone 3 and following a number of surveys and preparation of flood mitigation strategy, we were able to obtain consent from the Environment Agency for a range of mitigation works to facilitate the conversion. The conversion allowed a large, redundant building to be given a new lease of life.
An existing fishery approached SJM Planning to help them grow as a business. Following the submission of pre-application advice, SJM were able to submit a new application for the increase in the fishery's size and installation of one match lake and stock pond with associated access, parking area and toilet/utility block. The technical drawings and landscape plans were provided by Neil Penfold. The scheme was aimed particularly at disabled fishermen who expressed an interest in fishing at the lake complex. The scheme has been recommended approval for February 2017.
SJM Planning were approached to obtain planning permission to extend an existing equestrian enterprise. The scheme provided for new stables, a hay-barn/equipment store and a 60m x 40m riding arena. Although in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), the scheme was considered not to unduly affect the character of the rural landscape.
Applicants, who lived a short distance from the site, acquired 12 acres of land which they wanted to use for the keeping of horses. We were successful in obtaining permission for the change of use to equestrian, along with the erection of a hay barn / tractor store and range of stables. A second planning application successfully provided a new riding menage. The site had its own challenges, being in the open countryside and within the Metropolitan Green Belt, but SJM Planning made a successful case that the development would not harm the openness of the Green Belt and was in fact appropriate development in line with the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).