Barn to business — a new opportunity for the farming industry

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By Polly Reynolds

The government has recently introduced a number of temporary changes to planning legislation, with the aim of revitalising rural communities and making use of empty and redundant agricultural buildings.

The procedure for obtaining planning permission in respect of redundant agricultural buildings has been simplified with the intention of achieving this aim. These changes apply not only to any existing agricultural buildings but also any land within the cartilage of that building, and will be effective up until May 2016.

Figures suggest that between 25 per cent and 30 per cent of all countryside buildings that have permission for commercial use are currently unlet or vacant. It is, therefore, hoped that the amendments to the legislation will encourage land owners to convert any redundant agricultural buildings, which in turn will help benefit the local community…

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