The Tetlow King Kent office has had an exceptional first year since expanding its rural and agricultural team, with the appointment of Jonathan Lee being a particular highlight. 

Jonathan brought a wealth of knowledge to the team, and as an ex-Kent planning officer, he enjoys excellent relationships with architects and local authority planners.  

Despite the external financial and economic pressures faced by many, farmers and landowners are realising that their assets and land can be put to good economic use to support their farms and diversify income.  

Early engagement and discussion can lead to good business opportunities, particularly since many local authorities have supportive policies for the re-use of agricultural buildings for commercial uses. 

Recent large Tetlow King projects in Kent have included:

  • btaining planning permission for 1,300 sq m of grain stores just outside Woodchurch in Ashford to be used for B8 storage or light industrial uses
  • Permission for 540 sq m of new industrial units on an existing farm yard
  • Obtaining retrospective permission for a company occupying 1,300 sq m of agricultural buildings and associated yard to continue using it for fabrication of film trailers, washrooms, heating and cooling systems; enforcement action was prevented.

Other regular work has included:

  • Obtaining certificates to prove that sons and daughters wishing to live on a farm in mobile homes to take over the farm do not require permission
  • Removal of agricultural occupancy conditions (11 removed and counting)
  • Class Q (barns to residential) conversions
  • Class R (barns to business) conversions
  • New agricultural buildings through the permitted development route or via full planning permission
  • Stables and equestrian facilities 
  • Listed building and enforcement work.

Other exciting projects in the pipeline include redevelopment of a green belt farm yard in Kent for residential use and a planning application in to convert 2,200 sq m of a former joinery building to a specialist Porsche servicing and repair shop.

Another application of particular interest is the change of use of 48 hectares of farmland to a natural burial site, currently the subject of pre-application discussions with the planning officers.

Given the location of many of these sites, Jonathan has built up a detailed appreciation of the typical issues arising from green belt land and National Landscapes (the new name for what were Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty) to help him make strong cases for development.

The West Malling Team will be looking to expand its services by recruiting another planner in 2024 to add to the team.  Jonathan can be contacted to discuss any rural planning issues.

In his spare time Jonathan enjoys beekeeping, shooting and fly fishing, and he is a firm believer in promoting and supporting local businesses and shopping locally.

Permission obtained to retain the use and occupation by a company serving the film and event services industry