Rodenhurst Farm - How diversification can work for landowners

If you’re giving thought to how you might optimise your income from surplus or unprofitable land and buildings, then the answer may lie in completely changing how they are used.

When Deb Sankey, of Rodenhurst Farm near Shrewsbury, decided to give up farming in 2001 she wanted to think differently about how her substantial farm buildings were used, rather than simply offer them for sale.

Deb approached Shaun Jones of Halls for his help and advice in gaining change of use planning consent to renovate the buildings, creating a new business park on the outskirts of town. Shaun was able to identify what would be acceptable to the planning department and dealt with the paperwork, smoothing he process of council approval.

Almost 20 years later, with the 21 units still enjoying a high occupancy rate, Deb decided to offer the business park as well the remaining arable land and the farmhouse for sale. Once again, she approached Shaun to ensure all the paperwork was in order and to put the property on the market.

As the business had grown organically over the previous 20 years, Shaun identified a few areas that needed updated consent, and therefore could potentially have causes delays to the sale process. He recommended solutions, dealt with the paperwork and also identified a surplus a plot of land for which he won residential planning consent.

Buyers were found quickly and Deb said she felt the process went smoothly at her end: “Shaun advised us on the best way to gain consent for commercial use of farm buildings, identified potential problems, recommended solutions and kept us informed throughout. All the paperwork was in order when the property was marketed and we were happy that we had done everything needed to make sure the sale went through as quickly as possible.”


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