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 Planning application for new agricultural development approved by Havering Brough Council in Upminster, Essex. En-Plan: Planning Consultants for Essex.

agricultural development


Gerpins Lane, Upminster, Essex.


New duckery and commercial greenhouse approved.

Following an initial planning approval for a replacement dwelling on the plot and a new basement and swimming pool (both detailed below) the applicant was seeking to start a new business at the property and asked us at En-Plan to submit an application for a new commercial duckery and greenhouse. 


In terms of the site location the property is located just outside of Upminster in the London Green Belt. Upminster itself is a suburban town located in the London Borough of Havering, in the county of Essex, England. It is situated about 16 miles (25 kilometers) east-northeast of Central London. Upminster is considered part of the Greater London area and falls within the London commuter belt. Historically, Upminster was a rural village, but it has experienced significant growth and development over the years. It is known for its village-like atmosphere, with a mix of residential areas and green spaces. Upminster is also home to a variety of amenities, including shops, restaurants, schools, and recreational facilities. Transportation in Upminster is well-served, with Upminster station being a major interchange point for commuters. It provides rail services to London Fenchurch Street, with frequent trains connecting the town to the city. Additionally, Upminster is well-connected by road, with the A127 and M25 motorway nearby. The town boasts several notable landmarks, such as Upminster Windmill, a preserved smock mill that dates back to 1803, and the Upminster Tithe Barn, a medieval barn that has been converted into a community hall. Upminster also benefits from its proximity to open spaces like Upminster Park and the Ingrebourne Valley, offering opportunities for outdoor activities.

Overall, Upminster is a pleasant residential area that combines a suburban feel with convenient access to London, making it an attractive place to live for those seeking a balance between city and countryside living.


The London Borough of Havering, which includes Upminster, has specific planning policies in place regarding development in the green belt. However, it is important to note that planning policies may change over time, so it is advisable to consult the latest information from the Havering Council or relevant planning authorities for the most up-to-date regulations. In general, the green belt is an area of land surrounding and protecting urban areas from unrestricted development. It aims to preserve the openness and character of the countryside while preventing urban sprawl. Green belt policies typically restrict new development and prioritize the protection of the environment, landscape, and agricultural land. Within the green belt, Havering Council has established policies that prioritize the preservation of the area's character and open spaces. The council's planning policies typically restrict development in the green belt and prioritize brownfield (previously developed) sites and urban regeneration. When considering development proposals in the green belt, the council will typically assess whether the proposed development meets certain criteria, such as:

  1. Special circumstances: The council may consider allowing development in the green belt if it can demonstrate that there are special circumstances justifying the need for development that outweigh the harm to the green belt.

  2. Exceptional need: There may be cases where development is considered necessary to meet an exceptional need, such as infrastructure projects or essential community facilities.

  3. Sustainable development: The council will assess whether the proposed development contributes to sustainable development, considering factors such as the impact on the environment, transportation, and infrastructure.

It is important to consult the Havering Council's official planning documents, including the Local Plan and any supplementary planning guidance specific to the green belt, to understand the detailed policies and guidelines for development in the green belt in Upminster and the wider Havering area. Additionally, it is advisable to consult with the council's planning department or seek professional advice when considering any development proposals in the green belt.

In the context of the Green Belt and Havering Council Planning Policy, agricultural development is often considered to be an appropriate and compatible use of land. Agricultural activities contribute to maintaining the openness, character, and environmental benefits of the green belt. Here are some key points to consider regarding agricultural development in the green belt:

  1. Permitted Development: Certain agricultural operations may be considered as "permitted development" in the green belt. Permitted development rights allow farmers to carry out specific types of agricultural activities without the need for a formal planning application. However, the specific permitted development rights can vary, and it is important to consult the local planning authority to determine the exact regulations in place.

  2. Farm Diversification: Many planning policies encourage farm diversification, which allows farmers to explore alternative non-agricultural uses of their land or buildings. This can include activities such as farm shops, rural tourism, renewable energy generation, or small-scale rural enterprises. Farm diversification projects are typically assessed on a case-by-case basis, considering their impact on the openness and character of the green belt.

  3. Supporting Sustainable Agriculture: Planning policies often promote sustainable agricultural practices, including measures to protect and enhance biodiversity, soil quality, and landscape character. Local planning authorities may encourage farmers to adopt environmentally friendly practices and consider the ecological value of their land.

  4. Temporary Structures and Polytunnels: Temporary agricultural structures, such as polytunnels, may be allowed in the green belt for specific periods, typically subject to size limitations and seasonal use. However, permanent or large-scale structures may face more stringent scrutiny, as they can have a greater impact on the openness of the green belt.


It is important to note that these are general principles, and the specific policies and regulations regarding agricultural development in the green belt can differ between local authorities. To obtain accurate and up-to-date information, I recommend consulting the planning department of the London Borough of Havering or the relevant local planning authority responsible for Upminster, as they will have the most current information and guidance on agricultural development in the green belt.

Based on the above site site context and Planning Policy framework En-Plan formulated and submitted an application for agricultural development which conformed to DEFRA guidelines on the keeping of animals.

DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) provides guidelines and regulations in the United Kingdom related to the keeping of animals.DEFRA places great importance on animal welfare and promotes responsible animal keeping. They outline guidelines to ensure animals are provided with appropriate care, including proper nutrition, housing, health monitoring, and protection from harm or distress. DEFRA has specific guidelines for the identification and registration of certain animals, such as cattle, sheep, and pigs. These guidelines help in disease control, traceability, and monitoring of animal movements. DEFRA provides regulations for the transportation of animals to ensure their welfare during transport. These guidelines cover factors such as vehicle suitability, journey times, space allowances, ventilation, and access to food and water. DEFRA plays a crucial role in preventing and controlling animal diseases. They provide guidelines on biosecurity measures to reduce the risk of disease spread, including measures to prevent contact between different animal species, proper waste management, and quarantine protocols. DEFRA has published welfare codes for different species of farmed animals, including cattle, pigs, sheep, poultry, and horses. These codes outline the minimum standards of care and welfare requirements for each species, covering aspects such as housing, nutrition, health, and handling. Depending on the type and number of animals kept, certain activities may require licenses or permits. DEFRA provides information on licenses for activities such as animal boarding, breeding, exhibiting, and performing, as well as licenses for activities involving dangerous or exotic animals.

It is important to consult the official DEFRA website or contact DEFRA directly for the most current and detailed guidelines on the keeping of animals. In terms of the keeping of geese the following guidelines aim to ensure the welfare and well-being of geese in various settings, including commercial farms, smallholdings, and private households. Here are some key points to consider:

  1. Accommodation and Housing: Geese should be provided with suitable accommodation that meets their needs. The housing should protect them from adverse weather conditions, predators, and disease transmission. It should have adequate space for the number of geese being kept, appropriate ventilation, and access to clean water.

  2. Feeding and Nutrition: Geese should have access to a balanced and appropriate diet. The specific dietary requirements can vary depending on the age and purpose of the geese (e.g., breeding, meat production). It is important to provide them with access to clean water for drinking and bathing.

  3. Health and Veterinary Care: Geese should be monitored regularly for signs of ill health or injury. If necessary, veterinary attention should be sought promptly. Routine vaccinations and appropriate parasite control measures should be implemented to prevent disease and maintain good health.

  4. Handling and Transportation: Geese should be handled in a calm and gentle manner to minimize stress and ensure their well-being. If transportation is required, DEFRA guidelines on animal transportation should be followed to ensure that geese are transported safely and comfortably.

  5. Biosecurity: Good biosecurity practices are important to prevent the spread of diseases. This includes measures such as controlling access to the premises, regularly cleaning and disinfecting equipment and housing, and minimizing contact with wild birds or other potentially infected animals.

En-Plan were also able to provide details on the optimum growing conditions for the produce of choice and produce floor plans and elevations to suit.  The produce of choice in this instance was tomatoes and these require sepcial consideration as tomatoes are warm-season crops that thrive in sunny and warm conditions. While England's climate can be cooler and less predictable compared to warmer regions, tomatoes can still be successfully grown with some careful considerations. Here are some factors to consider for growing tomatoes in England:

  1. Location: Choose a sunny spot in your garden that receives at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day. This helps tomatoes to ripen properly and develop their full flavor.

  2. Soil: Tomatoes prefer well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. Prior to planting, amend the soil with compost or well-rotted manure to improve its fertility and drainage.

  3. Planting Time: In England, tomatoes are typically grown as tender annuals. Start tomato seeds indoors in late winter or early spring (around February or March) to give them a head start before transplanting them outdoors after the last frost date. You can also purchase young tomato plants from garden centers.

  4. Variety Selection: Choose tomato varieties that are well-suited for cooler climates. Look for "determinate" or "bush" varieties that tend to have a shorter growing season and can tolerate cooler temperatures. Some recommended varieties for English conditions include 'Moneymaker,' 'Gardener's Delight,' and 'Sungold.'

  5. Protection: Given the cooler climate in England, providing protection for your tomato plants can help extend the growing season and improve yields. Consider using raised beds or containers to ensure better drainage and warmth. You can also use cloches, greenhouses, or polytunnels to provide additional protection from cold temperatures and wind.

  6. Watering: Tomatoes require consistent moisture throughout the growing season. Water them regularly, aiming to keep the soil evenly moist but not waterlogged. Avoid overhead watering to reduce the risk of fungal diseases. Water at the base of the plants or use drip irrigation to deliver water directly to the roots.

  7. Pruning and Support: Tomatoes benefit from proper pruning and support. Remove suckers (the small shoots that emerge in the leaf axils) to promote better air circulation and focus the plant's energy on fruit production. Stake or cage the plants to provide support and prevent sprawling.

  8. Fertilization: Fertilize tomato plants with a balanced organic fertilizer or a slow-release fertilizer formulated for tomatoes. Follow the package instructions for application rates and timing.

By considering these factors and selecting appropriate tomato varieties, you can increase your chances of successfully growing tomatoes in England's climate. Remember to adapt your practices based on the specific conditions in your area and seek local gardening advice for best results.

We have continued to work with the applicant post approval in order to discharge planning conditions relating to construction detail and waste storage as part of our ongoing support to the fledgling business.

If you would like to find out more about how our Planning Consultancy and Architectural Design Services can work in perfect sync to achieve a successful outcome in the planning system please CONTACT US and we will be only too happy to talk through any questions or development proposals you may have.


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Please refer to our barn comversion page for more examples of successful barn conversion projects.


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With alterations to the roof design and balconies added to the newly created first floor bedrooms this re-model in the Green Belt has now moved to the building regulations phase.

  For more examples of similar projects please refer to our House Extensions Projects Page.


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Planning Application for loft conversion with dormers submitted in Shrewsbury, Shropshire.

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New nursery approved in Walsall.

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Planning Application for the extension of a property and change of use to a nursery approved in Walsall.

Walsall Council have garnted permission for a two-storey extension as well as the conversion of the existing garage to allow for the change of use of the ground floor to a new childrens nursery to provide care for pre-schoolers in the Highgate area of Walsall.


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Bomere Heath



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Kings Lynn


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