Rural Development

We pride ourselves in our commercial approach and understanding of increasing pressures on farming and rural communities looking to secure a viable future in the face of challenges being presented by the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and Land Reforms.

There has rarely been such a need for owners and users of land to review their operational and strategic direction of this finite resource. With less funding available through the EU and pressure on margins arising from volatile commodity prices it is increasingly difficult for farmers to realise sufficient profit through traditional farming methods.  In the Bank of Scotland’s Annual Scottish Agricultural Survey earlier this year, 73% of respondents considered that their businesses would be significantly worse off with the introduction of the new CAP.

We are already seeing some innovative examples of landowners with vision who have successfully diversified their existing agricultural businesses to keep pace with current reforms. Interest rates remain low and a new round of funding is available through the Scottish Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 LEADER fund providing opportunities for individuals, businesses and communities to come together and support rural development, including non-agricultural small business and farm diversification. Such vision will secure businesses an ongoing stronghold in an ever more challenging and competitive market. However, in order to work within the very complex policy environment within which they are now having to function and to enable them to diversify effectively, it is critical that each individual business seeks sound professional advice.

With offices in Edinburgh, Leeds and the Scottish Borders Clarendon is a multi-disciplinary consultancy offering a full range of planning and development expertise supplemented by hands-on project management. Such an approach can assist in transforming an early innovative idea into a deliverable project with certainty.

Our clients include landed estates, individual landowners, farmers, housebuilders and other commercial organisations as well as private home owners.

We have brought value to many of our clients’ proposals, whatever the scale or nature, by improving the prospect of achieving planning success. Projects can be as diverse as the promotion of a strategic site for housing through the Local Development Plan allocation process, identification of planning potential of unallocated farmland for the diversification of a rural business or for the renovation or extension of farm steadings and individual homes.

By definition, ‘planning’ guides development and future use of land with the objective of making best use of resources.

Whatever type of diversification an existing business or landowner is interested in pursuing, it is almost certain that planning permission will be required. The assistance of a planning consultant should therefore be considered a major priority whether for the development of a farm shop selling local produce, conversion of existing under-utilised barns/cottages, tourism-related development, renewable energy initiatives or the promotion/allocation of sites within Local Development Plans for small to large scale strategic residential development. Such advice can provide a helping hand in exploring options which can add value and assist in de-risking projects right from the initial exploratory stage through to actually obtaining planning permission to allow progression.

Value to Client

Clarendon can fully assess potential in landholdings and identify planning and development opportunities which can add value as part of a sustainable management of land assets over the long term.