Farmers will be able to undertake new build or extend agricultural buildings including sheds for hay and straw, storage and maintenance of agricultural machinery and plant, milking parlours, slurry storage tanks and chicken and other livestock sheds without having to go through the planning application process. Under plans issued by environment minister Alex Attwood, farmers should be able to construct buildings up to 500 sq m without planning, compared with the current limit of 300 sq m.
"These proposals, which are the most generous in these islands, will eliminate unnecessary red tape to enable agriculture to grow in a challenging economic climate," said Mr Attwood.
"I want to help expand our agri-food business by 40% in the next few years. Increasing the range of agricultural development that no longer needs planning permission will make it easier for farmers to undertake development."
It is anticipated that these proposals will become law in spring 2013.
More info here: planningni.gov.uk