Agricultural or rural business appraisals

Last Updated: 23 August 2023

To provide a policy framework to guide when a new dwelling may be acceptable in the open countryside to meet the needs of agriculture and rural businesses.

When required

Any proposal for a permanent or temporary dwelling(s) in the countryside for agricultural/forestry or rural business workers.

Applications for the removal of an occupancy condition relating to agricultural and forestry dwellings.

Content of agricultural appraisal

The appraisal should be confined to a factual statement of the agricultural/rural business considerations involved and an evaluation of the essential need for the dwelling(s) based on both a functional and financial need. It should be prepared by a suitably qualified professional.

All appraisals and reports will be published on our website in accordance with the requirements of paragraph 57 of the National Planning Policy Framework.

Existing business

Provide details of the operation of the unit (size of holding, stock numbers, staffing (full/part time, casual, family), nature of the work for staff and current staff accommodation available.


Demonstrate why there is an essential need for a rural worker to live permanently at or near their place of work in the countryside.

Future changes

Anticipated future changes to the operation of the unit (including any proposed farm diversification schemes), estimated time scales for future changes and the potential need for a new dwelling as a result of these planned changes.

Submitting an agricultural appraisal

The appraisal should be submitted together with the planning application, associated plans and relevant reports, the fee is available upon application on a case by case basis. This additional fee is to cover our costs to appoint an independent professional to assess the functional and essential need for the dwelling(s) in relation to agriculture, forestry or rural business.


Policy DM15 South Lakeland Development Management Policies Development Plan Document, Essential dwellings for workers in the countryside.