22 July 2024

Halls to launch weekly Farmers’ Advice Hub at Shrewsbury Auction Centre

A weekly Farmers’ Advice Hub is being launched at Shrewsbury Auction Centre to coincide with the livestock market every Tuesday, from July 2.

Members of the Rural Professional and Planning and Development departments at Halls’ headquarters in Shrewsbury will be available every Tuesday from 9.30am to 11.30am to provide a wide range of professional advice to farmers and landowners.

The free, no obligation service will be available not only to those attending the market, but also anyone who wishes to drop in for professional advice.

The Rural Professional team will cover everything from stewardship and grant schemes to compensation claims, valuations for all purposes and advice on selling and letting land and property.

Louise Preece, Halls head of rural professional services, said: “We are looking forward to meeting and talking to customers every Tuesday. We know that farmers often struggle to find the time in their day to seek advice on many of the services that we offer.

“Therefore, we thought we would make it as easy as possible to chat, especially at the moment when there are lots of changes in the grants and scheme world and farmers need to be aware of what’s out there for them.

“We will have an office at the auction centre and will be providing free, no obligation, professional advice.”

The Planning and Development team will provide guidance on development options for land and buildings and converting barns and agricultural sheds to dwellings and commercial use.

Advice will also be provided on planning applications for agricultural livestock and machinery sheds, equestrian buildings and associated horse paddocks and manège, farm diversification options, such as holiday lets, rural enterprise dwellings, permitted development guidance and development opportunities for renewables, including solar and wind power.

Paul Watson, Halls’ senior planning consultant, said: “Subjects we would expect farmers to raise with us include farm diversification options, agricultural sheds and extensions, change of use options where buildings have fulfilled their useful life and declining farm subsidy, creating a greater need to diversify or intensify their operations.

“Other topics likely to come up are roof covers for manure stores for farm compliance purposes and biodiversity net gain and opportunities for farmers to offer credits to the market.

“We look forward to meeting new and existing Halls clients to discuss their needs, opportunities and hopefully offer solutions to any planning and development issues they may have.”