Prior Notifications (Agricultural and Forestry Buildings)

The Regulations 

Classes 18 and 22 of The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development and Use Classes) (Scotland) Order 1992 (as amended) permit the erection of some buildings for agricultural and forestry use subject to the following prior notification process.  

The Process

Developers can submit a prior notification for determination as to whether or not prior approval is required.  The Council has 28 days to respond to prior notification and if we do not respond within that period the development can go ahead.   The Council is likely to respond in every case.  The response will either be prior approval is not required in which case development can proceed or prior approval is required in which case there is further procedure to go through.   If prior approval is required, we will send you another simple form to complete and the decision letter will make clear if any additional information is required. Sometimes no additional information is required.  In these circumstances development cannot proceed unless prior approval is granted.   You have a right of appeal to Scottish Ministers against any decision made on or condition attached to a prior approval.   You can also appeal against non-determination if the prior approval is not determined within 8 weeks.  
Prior Notification cannot be submitted retrospectively.  If you have already started works then planning permission will be required.  

What you can do

Farm Buildings

  • Erect or extend a farm building to a floor area not exceeding 1000m 2 or 465m2  in the designated areas which are: Cairngorms National Park, a National Scenic Area, World Heritage Site, historic garden or designed landscape, within the curtilage of a listed building, a site of archaeological interest or a conservation area.  

Forestry Buildings

  • Erect or extend a forestry building.

What you can't do

The following limitations apply:

Farm Buildings

  • Your farm holding must be at least 0.4 ha (in the case of crofts this can be calculated by adding together separate parcels of land);
  • The building must be for agricultural purpose  (please note  equestrian uses are not considered to be agricultural for this purpose);
  • The building cannot be used as a house;
  • The building must not be within 25m of a classified or trunk road;
  • The height of any part of a building within 3km of an aerodrome must not exceed 3 m;
  • The height of any building outwith 3km of an aerodrome would exceed 12m;
  • Any building for housing pigs, poultry, rabbits or other animals bred for the their skin or fur or for the storage of slurry or sewage must not be within 400m of any house that is not within the same agricultural unit;
  • You cannot extend or erect another building within 90m of any building that has been erected within the previous 2 years if the cumulative ground area covered would exceed the permitted level (1000m2 in most case but 465m2 in designated areas);
  • Any given building can only be extended once under this class

Forestry Buildings

  • The building must be for forestry purposes;
  • The building cannot be used as a house;
  • The building must not be within 25m of a classified or trunk road;
  • The height of any part of a building within 3km of an aerodrome must not exceed 3 m;
  • Any building can only be extended once under this class

Permitted Development rights may not apply if the land is a covered by a designation such as National Scenic Area (NSA), Special Area of Conservation (SAC) or a Special Protection Area (SPA).  Please contact us for further advice if you think that might apply to your case.  
The need for Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) will be considered.  

What we consider

The matters we consider when assessing a prior notification or prior approval are as follows:

  • The siting, design and external appearance of the building

Please make sure that you provide sufficient information to cover all these matters.  

What you need

The following must accompany every application for prior notification:

  • Application form;
  • Fee;
  • Location Plan (1:2500 or 1:5000) – this must show the building in the context of the wider area.  The application site must be outlined in red and any adjoining land in the same ownership should be outlined in blue;
  • Agricultural holding number (agricultural proposals only);
  • Site plan 1:500 or 1:200;
  • Proposed elevations;
  • Proposed floor plans.

Development permitted under this class must be carried out within 5 years with the date of determination.  

Contact Us

Development Management
Economic Growth & Development
The Moray Council
PO Box 6760, Elgin
IV30 9BX

0300 1234561

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