The Government has released new national guidance for farmers looking to set up a farm shops, it may also be useful for farmers updating their existing shop. The new Planning Practice Guidance describes:
- whether you need planning permission or can use permitted development rights to apply for a farm shop.
- highlights that farm shops can enhance the sustainability of farm businesses and benefit the local community.
- makes clear to local authorities that they need to be mindful of the viability of farm businesses when seeking to restrict a planning permission by imposing planning conditions and that planning conditions should be ‘proportionate’ and directly related to the farm shop business.
The NFU has lobbied for fairer planning policies for farm shops, including through the Rural Planning Review in 2016, when many farmers reported back their views. The new guidance was announced in February, but is now officially in place to guide planning proposals. The guidance should be taken into account in by all English local authorities in their decision making.
NFU members can read the details of the new guidance in the attached document.