National Farmstead Assessment Framework

By Jeremy Lake

The purpose of this guidance is to help secure sustainable development and the conservation of traditional farmsteads and their buildings through the planning system.

Traditional farmsteads and buildings are assets which make a significant contribution to both landscape character and local distinctiveness and, through a diversity of uses, to local communities and economies. Without appropriate uses they will not be maintained and may disappear from the landscape. Whilst poor conversion poses a threat, new commercial, residential or other uses which enhance their historic character and significance are to be encouraged.
Using this guidance at the earliest stage in establishing development proposals will:

  • inform good quality conversions and innovative design, including new buildings
    save time and costs before preparing a detailed application for development and other consents, such as listed building consent
  • ensure that an application complies with national plan policy, and also local plan policies (including the neighbourhood plan if relevant) regarding landscape, the historic environment, neighbourhood issues, biodiversity, siting and design
  • identify where professional advice and support, and perhaps more detailed survey, would be helpful

An application will have a much greater chance of success if these issues are identified and considered with the local planning authority at the pre-application stage.


  • Introduction
  • Site Assessment stages:
    Stage 1 Site Summary
    Stage 2 Assess Heritage Significance
    Stage 3 Need and Potential for Change
    Stage 4 Siting and Design Issues

Additional Information

  • Series: Guidance
  • Publication Status: Completed
  • Product Code: 51967


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