The countryside can be a fantastic place to operate a business. Some businesses can take advantage of location whilst others complement existing activities, be that agricultural or other commercial enterprises. However, although the general presumption against non agricultural development in the countryside can present planning issues, the planning system does offer significant encouragement.
Class R of the General Permitted Development (England) Order 2015 allows for some agricultural buildings to be converted to a variety of commercial uses. This can include shops, restaurants and cafes, business and storage or distribution. At Pinewood Nurseries near Slough, Buckinghamshire Acorus were able to achieve permission for a glasshouse to be converted to additional retail space now being used by a complementary business to the Farm Shop on site. www.pinewoodnurseries.co.uk
Re-use of buildings is supported in planning terms both in National and Local Policy. Dutch Dressage in Hitcham, Suffolk now occupies a larger set of former livestock buildings which Acorus achieved planning permission for Change of Use to Stables and a Manège. The business offers full competition and training liveries. www.dutchdressage.co.uk Even where existing buildings are not useable, extensions can be achieved. At Ingatestone Saddlery in Essex Acorus achieved planning permission for a café extension, which whilst being in the Green Belt was considered to be an extension that was not disproportionate to the original. www.ingatestonesaddlery.co.uk. In some cases it is possible to obtain brand new facilities if the location and concept are right. That was the case of Chippenham Park in Cambridgeshire where Acorus handled the planning application for a new wedding venue. Impact on the historical park and its neighbours were part of the issues to be addressed. www.chippenhamparkevents.co.uk