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For more details copy and paste www.fieldtofarm.com into your browser where you can buy the book and find out more information by going on the forum.
If you are in any doubt that this system of living on the land legally is not possible see for yourself read the posts of people doing it ! You do not get 52,000 forum members and 20,000 posts if the system doesn't work.
The book is constantly revised so it is always up to date.
The Latest Edition is on sale now
Field to Farm is a paperback book that contains 210 pages of information, it is not full of pretty pictures or anecdotes just facts about smallholding and how to achieve success, starting with a field and ending up with a house and a business. The Book has been enlarged so that it covers the various animal enterprises the set up costs and profitability. This book is unique not only in its content, but also in the support that is given on the website. This is via the forum which has over 30,000 active members with postings daily discussing smallholding issues, with planning questions answered. The book is updated at least four times a year so the planning information is always in line with current legislation. The money from book sales goes towards funding the forum.
THE BOOK THAT COULD CHANGE YOUR LIFE
For those of you who want to buy a field and turn it into a smallholding without planning permission. This book will show you how; it contains everything you need to know. It is a guide that exploits loopholes in the current planning system. Please read the introduction which is reproduced below, this gives you some idea of the scope of the book.
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It does seem unlikely in our heavily regulated planning system, that it would be possible to carry out any development on agricultural land without planning permission. However as this book will demonstrate it is possible, to live, build a barn and start a business, all without planning permission, on ordinary agricultural land in the United Kingdom
This book uses current planning law only and does not rely on using the Human Rights Act as used by others to occupy land.
Most people at one time or another would like to get away from it all, to escape the rat race, live the "good life" and buy a piece of land, live on it and keep a few animals. If you are one of these people and this is the time, then this book is for you. It will guide you through the process, explaining all you need to know, pointing out all the pitfalls. The guide will cover the following.
Acquisition of the land, what to look for what to avoid
Explain why planning permission is not required
The process of siting and construction of the 5000 sq ft barn
Selection and siting of the dwelling
The infrastructure and services
A selection of businesses to run and the tests that will need to be met to get planning permission for a house
How to set up and run your own touring caravan park without planning permission
The usual way to start a smallholding is to buy a piece of land (you will be very lucky to find a piece close to where you live) you then would need make a planning application to live on the land. For this application to be successful you will be required to prove functional need, which simply means to justify why you need to live on the land. This always means care and welfare of agricultural animals. This can be problematic if you have no animals. You can only put in a business plan supported by information which you will need to get from an agricultural planning consultant, which costs money and time. The most successful method is to have an animal enterprise up and running and then apply for planning permission, although this can have its own problems. The local authority planning department may well take the view that you have operated the animal enterprise without living on the land, so what is the need to live on it now. A "catch 22" situation this approach can take a great deal of time and money, particularly if you have already bought the land. You will receive no help from the planning department. Generally you will be fed misinformation about what you can and cannot do on agricultural land. If you are successful in obtaining planning it will be for a mobile home for a period of 3 years (no extensions) and in this period you will need to prove viability. The test is earning the minimum wage for a period of 1 year out of the 3. If this test is met then planning permission would be granted for a permanent dwelling which would be of a size which would be commensurate with the income that can be earned from the holding on the minimum wage therefore it would be a small house. It will also be necessary to demonstrate that the business is sustainable; this is normally demonstrated by an additional investment in the business or in an additional enterprise or building.
The house is likely to come with some planning restriction placed up on it. The usual one is that the house and land can only be sold together or an agricultural tie which restricts the people who can live in the house. Usually only people who are working in agriculture or forestry or who have retired from same are allowed. Sometimes some of the permitted development rights are removed which means you cannot extend the house without planning permission, which is unlikely to be granted. They may also remove the right to have a mobile home within the curtilage of a dwelling house, although I am not sure that this is enforceable if the Measor Principle is applied, this is explained further in the planning chapter on the mobile home. If you use this book as a guide to set up your smallholding, the outcome will be more positive, no costly planning application,). You may move onto the land and live on it for up to 5 years without making a planning application, this gives ample time to establish an animal based business without the "catch 22" situation, so any land that is bought can, with certainty be used as a smallholding. The work to set up the smallholding could start in weeks not months, or years, this now gives you the time to become a viable profitable enterprise rather than having to be profitable in your 1 year in 3. Some people believe that being self-sufficient is the way they want to run their smallholding, a, laudable ideal however this will be a difficult way to get planning permission for a house. There are Government guidelines given to planners, whereby some smallholdings can operate at a subsistence level, which is allowed so long as they contribute in other ways, an example would be enhancing and maintaining the landscape. This would be a difficult rout to get planning permission, the house you would be allowed to build would be tiny. It will be far easier to follow the system set out in this guide with a more certain outcome. To do this you will need to make money as much money as you can. The more income you have, the better the house you can build. After you have built your house you can be as self-sufficient as you like.
The only way this system will work is to be realistic. Forget the good life, every opportunity for making money must be exploited. That is why it is critical to buy the right piece of land in the right place and to diversify. You will need a main animal enterprise to satisfy planning but you can also do lots of other things at the same time. You could have a petting zoo and a touring caravan park and do seasonal things such as sell bedding plants in spring a maize maze in summer pumpkins in October, Christmas trees and turkeys or even a farm shop. The possibilities are endless. The one thing that I will keep coming back to is the land. It must be right for what you want to do with it. Flat at least in part, if you want a touring caravan park, not wet or heavy soil if you want to grow Christmas trees. It is better to read this book all the way through, decide what businesses you would like to run and then see if the land is suitable. Do your local research to see if there are opportunities for what you want to do. If not change what you want to do or change the location. Whatever land you select it must have road frontage. The road must go somewhere and must have passing traffic (as much as possible). Without this traffic you have little chance of selling things to the public without spending a lot of money on advertising. For a relatively modest investment you should end up with an asset worth at least double your outlay, so from an investment point of view it would be hard to beat.
The qualities necessary to create a smallholding are: some degree of physical fitness as there is quite a lot of manual work involved, if you are not fit to start with you soon will be! Common sense, if you do not know ask. If you decide to keep a particular animal take a course. These are normally run by the people who specialise in that animal and sell them, and buy books. You will soon learn, everybody has to start somewhere.
Being tenacious without being stubborn, stick with it but not to the bitter end. If something is not working, change it. If it looks like it?s not going to work, drop it. Always try to be adaptable watch, listen and learn. There is always another way to do any job and you never know, it might be better than yours. If you are married you must both be committed to doing this. It?s a hard slog and you are going to need each other, if both your hearts are not in it, don?t do it. Always remember that "The Good Life" was not only a joke about Margo and Jerry, the biggest joke was the Good?s and their fixed ideas and intransigent ways, of carrying out their ridiculous plans to be totally self-sufficient. So please be a realist and this method will work for you. Now you can get on with reading how to do it, good luck!
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