New opportunities – Agricultural Diversification and Alternative Low Impact Accommodation
The revised Eryri Local Development Plan (2016-2031) (ELDP) was adopted by Snowdonia National Park Authority (SNPA) on the 6th February 2019. Although it is not quite there yet…… It has been published on the website in a pre-publication version allowing six weeks for any legal challenges to be made regarding the validity of the Plan. So it will be the end of March assuming no challenges are made before the final version is published.
In addition to the revised ELDP the Park Authority are producing new Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) to support the ELDP. The SPG gives applicants more information about specific areas such as Visitor Accommodation, Historic Environment, and Farm Diversification. SPG documents are not subject to independent examination, but must be consistent with the ELDP and National Planning Policy. It has not been confirmed when these additional documents will be available.
Development Policy 9 confirms SNPA support of the re-use and conversion of rural buildings. It requires buildings to be structurally sound before their conversion and it should not necessitate new buildings being erected to replace the existing function. It confirms that it is a good way to preserve often historically and architecturally important buildings in the rural landscape.
Development Policy 20 describes the SNPA position on Agricultural Diversification and its support of broadening the economic base of the agricultural economy. Proposals re-using existing farm buildings will be viewed more favourably than new build proposals.
Leisure and Tourism is covered within several Development Policy Sections. A new Development Policy which has been inserted for the revised ELDP is ‘Alternative Holiday Accommodation’ which addresses the demand and the market interest in different types of accommodation structures such as pods, yurts, tepees, shepherds huts and wooden tents. It is quite a defined policy which is intended to be used for agricultural diversification or for existing leisure sites. It restricts the structures to be for sleeping only rather than having shower or toilet facilities within the structures. If the site requires toilet and shower facilities then these should first be considered through converting existing buildings, new buildings would only be considered having demonstrated the need and being commensurate with the scale of development.
The planning process remains the same, we would recommend a pre-planning application enquiry to establish what the planning officers views are on the initial proposal. This allows proposals to be changed and for the necessary supporting documentation to be produced.
In our experience, there is an increasing requirement for planning applications to have surveys, business plans, visual impact assessments and other supportive information.
Baileys and Partners are experienced in helping convert ideas into reality. We can help with the whole process from concept through to construction, or elements within that. We work closely with other partners to ensure that the best team delivers the result for both individuals and businesses.
If you are in early stages of thinking about diversification then visiting a trade event is always useful. Ed Bailey recently gave a presentation on Glamping at the Energy and Rural Business Show which gave his reflections on the differences between different Park Authority planning policies (Eryri and Peak District).
Please get in touch with the team to see how we can help make the most of the ‘nearly final’ Revised Eryri Local Development Plan.