Beehut on agricultural land - planning consent?

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Joined
Jul 31, 2023
Messages
15
Reaction score
3
Location
Surrey, UK
Hive Type
National
Number of Hives
4
I've looked through the forum for an answer (please point me to one if I have missed it).
I have 4 hives on a paddock designated agricultural. There are no issues about this. I'd like to build a beehut (probably 12'x8') / wooden shed / concrete base.

Does anyone know the planning requirements for building something like this on agricultural land? It would be used for the bees / kit only. I can't seem to find a definitive answer. Have had a few opinions 'down the pub' but it would be really useful to be pointed in the right direction.

I have a great relationship with our neighbours but equally need to know what we are allowed to do.

Thanks for any help.

Paul
 
I've looked through the forum for an answer (please point me to one if I have missed it).
I have 4 hives on a paddock designated agricultural. There are no issues about this. I'd like to build a beehut (probably 12'x8') / wooden shed / concrete base.

Does anyone know the planning requirements for building something like this on agricultural land? It would be used for the bees / kit only. I can't seem to find a definitive answer. Have had a few opinions 'down the pub' but it would be really useful to be pointed in the right direction.

I have a great relationship with our neighbours but equally need to know what we are allowed to do.

Thanks for any help.

Paul
Size and height are the main limiters for a shed
https://www.sheds.co.uk/planning-permission
 
I live in a small holding. Stan put up a similar sized shed but it doesn’t have a concrete base. Never thought of looking at planning.
 
The simple answer is, I'd say, that it's not that simple :D Permitted development rights for agricultural land have all sorts of dependencies on other stuff such as the total area of the land, how close it might be to roads and domestic buildings etc. And even if it were permitted development you'd probably have to get consent from the local planning authority who would surely then stick their oar in regarding design, placement etc.

In the same situation I might be sorely tempted to build a "shepherd's hut" (by which I do not mean the flash modern ones you might use as a holiday home or office) that could be towed into position. Basically it would be a high-sided trailer with a roof. I think it would be hard to find reason to object to a trailer being left in a field.

James
 
I live in a small holding. Stan put up a similar sized shed but it doesn’t have a concrete base. Never thought of looking at planning.

Even on a smallholding there's a concept of "domestic curtilage" that defines what is "domestic living space" and what isn't, and within that the same rules generally apply as to any other domestic dwelling.

It can get really messy with old properties that haven't been changed for decades however, because, say, 100 years ago the same ideas didn't exist. Even forty years ago the "working" part of our property merged into the domestic garden without any obvious border and the long drop toilet, clearly a domestic feature, was in an area that might otherwise have been considered pasture.

James
 
Case in point - a person used to rent some of our land for their horses, but had purchased some land of their own on the other side of the valley so they let it go, someone else rented it for a while but also moved on. The first person then called asking if they could rent our field again as, when they put a shelter up for their horses on their field a neighbour objected to the council and they ended up being told that, although the shelter was fine, horses aren't considered agriculture so they had to move them!
Tanya and Lin still rent our field (it's a good few acres) and Lin keep sheep and the occasional pig on the field she bought!!
 
Yes, horses aren't generally considered part of "normal" agricultural operations these days. If they were heavy horses for ploughing and pulling carts then perhaps it would be a different story.

James
 
I've looked through the forum for an answer (please point me to one if I have missed it).
I have 4 hives on a paddock designated agricultural. There are no issues about this. I'd like to build a beehut (probably 12'x8') / wooden shed / concrete base.

Does anyone know the planning requirements for building something like this on agricultural land? It would be used for the bees / kit only. I can't seem to find a definitive answer. Have had a few opinions 'down the pub' but it would be really useful to be pointed in the right direction.

I have a great relationship with our neighbours but equally need to know what we are allowed to do.

Thanks for any help.

Paul
 
The problem is the concrete floor as it is then classed as a permanent fixture and full planning permission is required
wooden floor can be argued that the structure is movable
 
drag an old caravan onto site for an animal husbandry rest area and see what happens. Plenty of old caravans in horse paddocks across Surrey. Mind you there's some rather nice bespoke buildings as well. :LOL:
 
Why not use sleepers as a base for the shed. Then both are removable and thus not permanent structures. How does that sound?
 
Shipping containers are normally acceptable as they are are certainly not permanent and easily removed.
I would have a problem as I am in a National Park and it would appear any shed greater than 10m2 remote from another building is not allowed it seems.
 
Planning case law appears to have a different opinion on what constitutes "temporary" from that which might be assumed by a the average person in a field. The lack of foundations etc. doesn't appear to be a problem as regards being considered permanent in many cases. It's more to do with the time the building is likely to be in situ. From memory I believe the line gets drawn at a couple of months, though it might even be just twenty-eight days. I'm sure there was a case where a large, wheeled chicken shed that was moved around a field regularly was still deemed to be "permanent" from a planning point of view regardless of being moved because it was in the same field for long periods of time.

James
 
The problem is the concrete floor as it is then classed as a permanent fixture and full planning permission is required
wooden floor can be argued that the structure is movable
Horse shelters and feed sheds on skids have been a regular feature at agricultural shows for a number of years. A decent 4 x 4 can tow them on grass or smooth ground with relative ease. Google mobile stables will reveal a wice range of sizes (and prices)
 
Love all the replies and suggestions. Is there any official documentation on what is allowed and what isn’t? I can’t find any (which is ridiculous in itself - how can you comply which something that doesn’t appear to exist?).
 

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