Policy RUR 2: Farm diversification
- Proposals for the diversification of agricultural businesses in the open countryside will be supported where they accord with other policies in the development plan and:
- the development proposals are ancillary and related to the primary agricultural business;
- the development is necessary to support the continued viability of the existing agricultural business;
- the proposals make best use of existing infrastructure such as existing buildings, utilities, parking and vehicular access;
- additional buildings, structures and ancillary development are restricted to the minimum level reasonably required for the planned operation of the diversified business; are well-related to each other and existing buildings and do not form isolated or scattered development;
- do not unacceptably affect the amenity and character of the surrounding area or landscape (including visual impacts, noise, odour, design and appearance), either on its own or cumulatively with other developments; and
- provide appropriate landscaping and screening.
- In addition to the above, any proposals for retail sales must be limited in scale. Proposals for new or extensions to existing farm shops will only be permitted where the range of goods sold is restricted to those in connection with the land-based business and the majority of goods sold should be produced on site.
- Where appropriate, the council may impose conditions to control the future expansion or nature of the business when granting planning permission.
6.7 LPS Policy PG 6 ‘Open Countryside’ allows for development that is essential for the expansion or redevelopment of an existing business. LPS Policy EG 2 ‘Rural economy’ seeks to support the rural economy, including through the retention and expansion of existing businesses, particularly through the conversion of existing buildings and farm diversification.
6.8 To demonstrate that the development is necessary to support continued viability of the existing land-based business, a business plan will be necessary to outline the business profile alongside the present and proposed activities, which should be proportionate to the scale of the proposal.
6.9 In the Green Belt, additional restrictions to development will apply under LPS Policy PG 3 'Green Belt'.
6.10 Other policies in the development plan may also have particular relevance to the diversification of land-based business; particularly those related to access, car parking, design, landscape, nature conservation, heritage, and best and most versatile agricultural land.
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