Small Woodland Owners' Group

planning issues

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planning issues

Postby Woodsmith » Fri Jan 31, 2014 9:55 pm

Hello I have recently bought a wood with a large outbuilding on it, covered in ivy but in basicaly sound dry condition, roof on etc.. In a previous life (50 years ago) it was a pigsty although there are no official records for it. I would like to use it for running courses in blacksmithing and green woodwork (only in bad weather) and storage. There doesn't seem to be much info out there on existing buildings. Does anyone know if I would have to get change of use planning for it? And if so would it be subject to rates?

Any advice appreciated

Thanks

Andy
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Re: planning issues

Postby oldclaypaws » Sat Feb 01, 2014 10:24 am

The answer is no, you won't need planning permission or have to pay rates if you know the regulations, how to fit in with them and are smart about it. You are allowed a building for forestry, as a toolstore and shelter. If its in the wood and was previously used for other purposes that's immaterial. Its already there so you don't need to ask to build it, and you are allowed to use it for 'forestry'. The definition of what exactly that entails is fairly loose.

I suggest as your proposed activities are occasional, not 5 days a week, you familiarise yourself with the rules and have your line well rehearsed if challenged. It could easily be said if you are coppicing, making charcoal and using the forge to make and repair traditional woodworking tools, that is all directly related to the forestry and a 'tool building'. As regards the courses, you can do something like this for 28 days a year ('the 28 day rule') without any permission. How many days you're doing it for is hard to prove, unless you have an objectionable neighbour spying on you and recording all your activities. Within reason, provided you take a low profile and don't have large signs advertising courses or saying 'blacksmithing school' on the roadside, who's to know how often you do it. Rates are payable on commercial premises- open air spaces used for green woodworking don't count, nor your blacksmithing if its less than 28 days.

I have a similar model, but revolving round pottery. I'll be using on site clay and fuel (but not full time manufacturing), doing occasional exhibitions there, and possibly open air pottery and craft courses. The Council and neighbours are aware but have no objections. Its intrinsically a fairly pleasant low impact activity and within the rules.
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Re: planning issues

Postby Woodsmith » Sat Feb 01, 2014 11:38 am

oldclaypaws wrote:The answer is no, you won't need planning permission or have to pay rates if you know the regulations, how to fit in with them and are smart about it. You are allowed a building for forestry, as a toolstore and shelter. If its in the wood and was previously used for other purposes that's immaterial. Its already there so you don't need to ask to build it, and you are allowed to use it for 'forestry'. The definition of what exactly that entails is fairly loose.

I suggest as your proposed activities are occasional, not 5 days a week, you familiarise yourself with the rules and have your line well rehearsed if challenged. It could easily be said if you are coppicing, making charcoal and using the forge to make and repair traditional woodworking tools, that is all directly related to the forestry and a 'tool building'. As regards the courses, you can do something like this for 28 days a year ('the 28 day rule') without any permission. How many days you're doing it for is hard to prove, unless you have an objectionable neighbour spying on you and recording all your activities. Within reason, provided you take a low profile and don't have large signs advertising courses or saying 'blacksmithing school' on the roadside, who's to know how often you do it. Rates are payable on commercial premises- open air spaces used for green woodworking don't count, nor your blacksmithing if its less than 28 days.

I have a similar model, but revolving round pottery. I'll be using on site clay and fuel (but not full time manufacturing), doing occasional exhibitions there, and possibly open air pottery and craft courses. The Council and neighbours are aware but have no objections. Its intrinsically a fairly pleasant low impact activity and within the rules.


Many thanks for the reply claypaws, very encouraging. :D I intend it all to be very low profile and have a max of 4 students so impact will be low both on the wood and neighbours.
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Location: Herefordshire


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