There has never been a more critical time for farm businesses to explore diversification opportunities to bolster traditional farming activities, whether this is planning a new business venture or giving redundant farm buildings a new lease of life. Obtaining the relevant planning permissions for diversification opportunities is an imperative part of setting up your new venture. We’re here to help you negotiate the planning process and acquire the correct planning permissions.

The best farm diversification projects complement the existing business by improving cash flow and adding profit. A diversification project that uses existing farm buildings is likely to require either full planning permission for change of use or, depending on the commercial use proposed, it may qualify for conversion under Permitted Development Rights. The Cheffins Planning team can advise farm owners on how to diversify and find new sources of income by developing or redeveloping under-used assets, whether property or land.

Farm Diversification opportunities include (but are not limited to):

  • Self-Storage
  • Holiday lets
  • Wedding Venues
  • Camp or glamping sites

We have helped many clients obtain planning permission for change of use of land for self-storage, camping/glamping sites as well as obtaining planning permission for the conversion of rural buildings either independently or for such uses as farm shops, wedding venues and holiday lets or in conjunction with other associated projects such as the conversion of buildings to be used as shower/toilet or general facilities for campsites.

Farm diversification Examples

Self-storage is becoming an increasingly popular form of cost-effective farm diversification, generating additional income. We have advised a range of clients on building self-storage facilities on their land – predominantly with shipping containers.

The increasing popularity of the staycation, requiring relatively little capital investment and a healthy return on investment, has seen a surge in the number of glamping sites. Cheffins Planning team has successfully secured planning permission for glamping sites in Cambridgeshire and Suffolk.

We advised one such client to diversify their farm to a rustic wedding and events venue and glamping site. This scheme included the change of use of land for glamping pods as well as barn conversions to provide indoor seating and bar area, shower, and toilet facilities etc.

If you intend that the glamping facility will be open for more than 28 days a year then planning consent for change of use for the land and planning permission for the erection of temporary or permanent structures will be necessary. We have significant experience of assisting clients intent on setting up glamping sites and can advise you on all the necessary planning requirements to successfully establish your glamping business.

Diversifying with Self-Storage

Self-storage is an increasingly popular form of farm diversification as it is a cost effective way to bring in more income.

Self-storage schemes almost always require planning permission for the change of use of the land but also associated works such as access, security fencing and security of the buildings.

Cheffins has significant experience in obtaining the requisite planning permissions for self-storage projects and we can advise you on the criteria and likely chance of a successful outcome.

Diversification options for farmers

Maximising the potential of your land and assets through diversification can be financially beneficial. The best farm diversification projects complement the existing business by improving cash flow and adding profit. There is a myriad of farm diversification opportunities and our strategic approach and significant experience can help you explore a range of options before deciding on the best course of action. We’re here to help you negotiate the planning process, ensuring you have the requisite permissions in place to make a success of your new venture.

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Our experts
Ian Smith MRTPI, CEnv
Director, Head of Planning
Planning & Development
Jon Jennings BA (Hons), DipTP, MRTPI
Director - Planning
Planning & Development