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Do I need planning permission?

Sheep in a Polytunnel
Polytunnel Planning Permission

Understanding Planning Permission for Polytunnels in the UK

Like many constructions, the erection of polytunnels might necessitate planning permission. This blog delves into the nuances of planning permission for polytunnels in the UK, ensuring you have all the information needed to navigate this aspect of agricultural planning.

Do You Need Planning Permission for a Polytunnel?

The need for planning permission for polytunnels in the UK can depend on several factors, including the size of the structure, its location, and its intended use. Here’s a breakdown of the considerations:

1. Size and Scale:

- Small, temporary polytunnels typically do not require planning permission. These are often used in gardens and allotments.

- Large polytunnels used for commercial farming might require planning permission due to their potential impact on the environment and local infrastructure.

2. Location:

- If the polytunnel is to be erected within the curtilage of a listed building or in a conservation area, planning permission is likely required.

- Proximity to boundaries, roads, and other structures can also influence the need for permission. Polytunnels near public highways or that obstruct views might be subject to additional scrutiny.

3. Intended Use:

- Polytunnels used for personal, non-commercial gardening purposes generally have more lenient requirements.

- Commercial agricultural use, especially if involving significant scale and permanence, is more likely to necessitate planning permission.

4. Foundation Types:

-Depending on the type of foundation used can also determine if you require planning. For larger structures where concrete is used as the fixing method then the structure is more likely to be classed as permanent. If using anchor plates or screw foundations then this may lean towards temporary use.

The Planning Permission Process

If you determine that planning permission is needed, the process involves several steps:

1. Pre-Application Advice:

- Contact your local planning authority for pre-application advice. This can provide valuable insights into potential issues and help streamline the application process.

2. Submitting an Application:

- Prepare and submit a planning application to the Local Planning Authority . This typically includes detailed plans and specifications of the proposed polytunnel, its location, and its intended use.

- An application fee is usually required.

We can help with planning applications if required by providing technical drawings and specification information. Contact us at or 01524901051

3. Public Consultation:

- Once submitted, there is often a period of public consultation where neighbors and other stakeholders can provide feedback or objections.

4. Decision:

- The Local Planning Authority will review the application, considering factors such as environmental impact, visual amenity, and local planning policies.

- A decision is usually made within eight weeks, although more complex cases can take longer.

Tips for a Successful Planning Application

Detailed Plans: Provide comprehensive and clear plans showing the dimensions, materials, and exact location of the polytunnel.

Environmental Considerations: Address potential environmental impacts, such as water runoff and biodiversity effects. Propose mitigation measures if necessary.

Community Engagement: Engage with your neighbors and local community early in the process to address any concerns they might have.

Compliance: Ensure your proposal complies with local and national planning policies.

Exemptions and Permitted Development

In some cases, polytunnels might be classified under permitted development rights, meaning they do not require formal planning permission. This typically applies to smaller structures used for agricultural purposes on land designated for agricultural use. It's often helpful to cite that the structure is being erected to assist animal welfare on your application. However, it’s crucial to verify this with your Local Planning Authority , as permitted development rights can vary.

Our Conclusion

While the need for planning permission can depend on various factors, understanding the requirements and process is essential for a smooth and successful installation. By engaging with local planning authorities, preparing detailed applications, and addressing environmental and community concerns, you can navigate the planning process effectively and enjoy the benefits of your polytunnel with peace of mind.

For further information, always refer to your local planning authority and consider seeking professional advice to ensure compliance with all relevant regulations.

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