Posted on 13 February 2019
A controversial dispute by a Lanchester farming couple to transform their farming business has been won after revised plans got the green light. 

The news will see ambitions by local farmer Tony White and his wife Norma to have a permanent residential dwelling on their mixed arable and cattle enterprise come to fruition. 

The move will lead to the development of a new farmhouse on land at Dunleyford Farm on Humberhill Lane as the Whites look to build a more sustainable business in the face of changes to EU farming subsidies, which currently support hundreds of local farmers. 

Despite years of wrangling, Joe Ridgeon, associate at North East-based Hedley Planning Services, has steered through a planning application to secure approval. 

 He has worked with Adam Barrass at chartered surveyors Vickers & Barrass, to present a detailed supporting case to overcome concerns raised by Durham County Council and local objectors to the Whites’ plans for their farm.

A permanent home is set to replace an existing mobile one, which has served the site for several years, while landscaping improvements will contribute to the scheme.

 Joe Ridgeon said that diversification projects can takes years to come to fruition, so other farmers looking to secure planning permission and implement changes should now be considering their options. 

 He added: “This has been a difficult case, with a history of previous appeal dismissals, so securing planning permission from the council is great news. As farming businesses look to plan for future changes to subsidies we expect to see an increase in diversification projects.” 

 Adam Barrass said: “The Government has guaranteed the same level of subsidy funding through to 2022 and will continue to support the current schemes in the meantime. However, looking ahead, it is expected that there will be a new environmental scheme that will offer ‘public money for public goods’. “Although it is likely to be another few years before this scheme will be available, farmers should be looking at their business now to ensure it will be resilient in the face of subsidy reductions.” 

Hedley Planning Services provides creative planning solutions to complex development proposals, with services covering a range of land-use and planning considerations. More at  Vickers & Barrass offer land agency and estate agency services across the North East. More

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