Using open land for agriculture, leisure and other uses

Bare Land


Use of bare land

Bare land has many uses. It may be used for agricultural, recreational or business purposes (including car parking). It can also be used for fairs and markets and other short-term uses.

Agricultural use

No planning permission is required to use land for agricultural purposes. A change of use from agriculture to another type of use is likely to require planning permission.

Sports and leisure uses

Use of land for outdoor sports and leisure falls within use class D2. No planning permission is required for a change to other D2 uses (including cinemas, bingo halls, concert halls and swimming baths) but planning permission is required for any other change of use.

Car parking – a use in itself or ancillary to another use?

Car parking may be ancillary to another use (e.g. for staff or customers at office, industrial or shop premises). If so, the car park use will fall within the main use class (i.e. B1 for an office car park, B2 for a factory car park, etc).

Use of land for a commercial car park is likely to be a “sui generis” use, i.e. a use which does not fall within any of the use classes, meaning that a specific planning permission is required for a change to and from such use.

Do I need planning permission to hold a fair or festival?

In planning law there is a “28 day” rule that allows land to be used for any purpose for not more than 28 days in a calendar year without the need to obtain planning permission. This can be useful for the organisers of fairs, festivals and temporary campsites. The 28 day rule does not apply to domestic land (e.g. a private garden or driveway) and there are various exceptions to the rule. Take care, therefore, to ensure that the rule applies to your proposed use before you rely on it.
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