Extended Support for Farmers

23rd May 2024

Extended support for Farmers is available through incentives and changes to planning laws.


The government has today published details of the expanded SFI offering for 2024. As expected, the offering now includes actions for precision farming and agroforestry and support for upland farmers, short term tenant Farmers and new entrants. There are now 102 actions.


50 simplified Countryside Stewardship Mid Tier actions will be merged into the SFI application process. Many actions will be reduced from 5 to 3 years, to assist those short-term tenant Farmers to access support.


The application window will open in Winter, with Agreements to start in January 2025, for Farmers looking for support with Higher Tier Countryside Stewardship.



If you would like more information, please visit:

SFI scheme information: expanded offer for 2024 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)



There’s more good news!

Changes to planning laws that come into effect today mean that it will be easier for Farmers to convert their unused buildings into new homes or diversified farming operations.


Permitted development rights will be extended to give Farmers greater choice to diversify into other business areas. These will still be subject to space and natural lights conditions.



In a nutshell, the changes will:
  • Double the number of homes delivered through conversion of agricultural buildings from 5 to 10
  • Double the amount of floorspace (500 to 1,000 square metres) that can change from agricultural use, to flexible commercial use
  • For farms of over 5 hectares increase the size of new buildings or extensions from 1,000 to 1,500 square metres
  • For farms of less than 5 hectares increase the size of new buildings or extensions from 1,000 to 1,250 square metres
  • Protect archaeological sites by removing the ability for extensions or new buildings to built in the immediate area



Get in Touch

It would be wise to consult your accountant and/or tax advisor before venturing into any diversification project, to fully understand the tax position. This could include income taxes, capital taxes, VAT aspects and Stamp Duties. For more information or advice on the extended support for farmers, contact your local Whitings office today.


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