Planning Application/Retention

Planning permission will take up to four months, and can sometimes be delayed with the need for further consultation with the planning authorities, which could take up to six months. Give yourself plenty of time and apply early to be ready to avail of the new TAMS II grants because proof of planning permission or exemption from planning is required before you can make a TAMS II application. Planning permission normally lasts for five years but sometimes the planning authority may reduce this to 3 years.

Exemption from planning

If your proposed development does not require planning permission, we can apply for an exemption certificate. We will submit a set of drawings such as OSI maps or farm maps showing the location and size of the proposed development to the county council.

It usually takes six weeks for the planning authorities to come back to give the exemption cert, if it is exempt. They may come back and say it is not exempt and you will have to go for planning permission.

You could be knocked back on exemption applications for a number of reasons such as proximity to streams, roads, rivers, monuments and dwelling houses. There is an €80 charge to make the exemption application.

Key aspects to consider when designing a farmyard:

1. Weather and the orientation of the proposed building. You should always try to face an open-ended shed north or northeast, if possible. There is a slight risk that a shed facing this direction will get snow at some stage during the year, but 90% of the time it should be a healthy shed for livestock. Try not to have the building facing the prevailing wind and if you are in that situation, try to enclose it by sheeting it down halfway.

2. Proposed animal housing or slurry storage needs to be a minimum distance from a public/private wells of 60m. In existing farmyards, the minimum distance is 30m subject to a hydro-geological survey being carried out, which can cost €1,200 to €1,400 and there is no guarantee that this will allow the development to go ahead.

3. A storage facility for silage effluent/slurry/soiled water should be located not less than 50m from any waterbody in the case of new farmyards, and not less than 10m in the case of extensions/modifications to an existing facility.

4. Consider animal and machinery movement within the farmyard. The shed has to be designed to allow large machinery to work at ease and adequate space should be given for turning and backing. Also, consider animal movement around the yard; for example, you might have a race at the back of the shed where cattle can be directed to the crush or farm roadways and a clean area to the front where machinery or lorries operate.

5. Utilise existing buildings and combine them with the proposed new building, if possible. Farmers might have an old hayshed that was storing the hay or the straw, which they are not using anymore. Why not put a new standalone shed beside the old hayshed, so that the old hayshed can act as a layback in the future. Building a brand new layback in the new shed could cost anywhere from €10,000 to €15,000.

6. Farm safety must always be considered in all new designs and layouts. Safety when building beside an existing shed is important to make sure proper supports are in place when the new building work is being carried out. If you are planning on carrying out building work yourself, you should consider your own abilities and not be afraid to hire qualified labour, if it is needed.

7. Always allow and plan for future expansion and developments.