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Aston Lawyer
Aston Lawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10774
Experience:  Solicitor LLB (Hons) 23 years of experience in Conveyancing and Property Law
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I want to purchase a substantial property (2.5 acres) of

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Hi, I want to purchase a substantial property (2.5 acres) of forest in Surrey. The property is being sold by Auction on 14 September and in the description it reads: 'A range of buildings may be erected or access tracks created without planning permission under permitted development (Part 7 Forestry buildings and operations general permitted development order 1995).' - I have searched the development order online but it is a bit confusing. Is there somewhere I can get advice on this particular query?

Hi, thanks for your enquiry. I set out below the main points covered by the permitted rights for forestry-

A range of forest buildings can be erected without normal planning permission. This includes the erection, extension or alteration of a forestry building, such as a tool shed, store, office or shelter, or putting in a “private way” (access track). This is called Permitted Development (PD) and details are contained in Part 7 (Forestry Buildings and Operations) of the General Permitted Development Order 1995 (GPDO).

Any building or track must be used for the purposes of forestry and not, for example, primarily for leisure or educational activities. Unlike agriculture PD rights (Part 6), there are no restrictions on the size of the forestry building, no requirement that the forestry must be run as a trade or business (so hobby forestry is OK as long as it is forestry) and no stipulation that it must relate to forestry operations only on that unit. Full PD rights also apply to any size of forestry holding, whereas, for agriculture, there are reduced PD rights for holdings less than 5 hectares. A small anomaly is that osier growing counts as agriculture and therefore the two tier agricultural PD system applies, with less generous PD rights for holdings smaller than 5 hectares.

To qualify as Permitted Development, a building that is erected cannot be used as a dwelling, cannot be within 25 metres of a classified road, and must be “reasonably necessary” for the purposes of forestry. Also, any building must be designed for the purpose for which it is intended, so a forestry hut that looks like a house, or even is capable of providing overnight shelter, is not allowed as PD. I hope this assists. If so, please could you rate my answer. Kind Regards Al

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your very efficient service and thorough answer.