Category Archives: rural-offices

ARCHITECTURE – Meet Team Architecture at Rural Solutions

By | architecture, consultancy, planning, recruitment, rural business, rural diversification, rural economy, rural-affairs, rural-housing, rural-offices, rural-solutions-news | No Comments

Our architecture team has grown a lot in 2017 and we thought it was a good time to share a bit more about who they are!

The team, headed up by Malcolm Birks, are six strong and as expected at Rural Solutions, all very passionate about innovative design in the rural context.

Take a look at their latest design portfolio presenting some of the fantastic and varied schemes they have designed across the UK. From traditional to entirely unique, residential and commercial; together with our planning team, they are pushing the boundaries and raising the expectations of what is possible in the rural environment.

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Visit the Farm Business Innovation Show in Birmingham

By | advisory, architecture, construction, consultancy, general, planning, rural business, rural economy, rural-affairs, rural-housing, rural-offices, rural-solutions-news | No Comments

Rural Solutions will be exhibiting and speaking at the Farm Business Innovation Show taking place at Birmingham NEC on Wednesday 9 and Thursday 10 November.

The show is free to enter and tickets can be ordered online from the Show website.

The Rural Solutions advisory, business development and planning teams will be at the show and they will be available to talk to you about your diversification ideas.  Willy Browne-Swinburne will also be speaking on Thursday morning about how you decide which diversification idea is the right one for you!

More information about the Show and free tickets can be found here

Rural Solutions runner up in Rural Business Awards

By | advisory, architecture, construction, consultancy, planning, rural business, rural economy, rural-affairs, rural-housing, rural-offices, rural-solutions-news | No Comments

Rural Solutions attended the dinner and awards ceremony last night for ‘The Rural Business Awards’ in partnership with CLA and are very proud to announce that we are runner up in the ‘2016 Best Rural Professional Services Business’ category.

The Awards co-founder, Jemma Clifford said “Rural Solutions was simply an excellent, successful business.  They demonstrated growth on profits, creation of jobs and associated employment in rural communities, all based on a sound knowledge of the key aspects of rural life.”

Congratulations to all our fellow finalists – it is wonderful to see so many successful rural businesses out there doing great things for the rural economy and raising the profile of the countryside.

3D Printing used to demonstrate Rural Office Scheme

By | architecture, planning, rural business, rural-offices | No Comments

For a new rural office scheme in Oxfordshire we decided that a 3D printed model would help to physically demonstrate how the design will sit in the landscape and provide a more tactile platform in addition to drawings.

The project will replace the existing redundant agricultural buildings with 10,000 square feet of purpose built space to house small rural businesses.

From a 3D design modelled in SketchUp by the Rural Solutions Architecture Team, the model was then printed at 1:200 scale, took 16 hours to print and gave a fantastic finished product – far superior to anything achieved through card, scissors and glue!

3D printing by

Farm diversification project approved in Bedfordshire

By | planning, rural business, rural economy, rural-offices | No Comments

Planning Officers at Central Bedfordshire Council recently granted consent for the conversion and redevelopment of a farm complex to provide rural offices.

The Conservation Area site includes a Grade II listed farmhouse, granary and dovecote along with a number of heritage barns and a series of more modern 20th Century agricultural barns.  Our client was keen to secure an alternative income stream on the site by diversifying the existing agricultural activities and developing the modern farm buildings to enable the revenue stream generated from this development to be reinvested back into the site and enabling longer term improvement of both the listed farmhouse and the heritage barns.

The scheme created will deliver small scale flexible employment and office space for start-up and small businesses.



Rural Estates – Why Bother?

By | rural business, rural economy, rural-affairs, rural-housing, rural-offices | No Comments

Last night Rural Solutions ran a joint event with Withers and Harrison Rural with invited rural estate landowners to debate ‘Rural Estates – Why Bother?’

The traditional rural estate can, on the face of it, look increasingly outdated, difficult to manage, encumbered with emotional baggage and a ‘sitting duck’ for the taxman, so why do we bother?

The event, chaired by Heather Hancock, was kindly hosted by Withers at their Old Bailey offices and was very well attended with much thought provoking and stimulating debate from the panel and the audience.

If you are interested in learning more about the event, please email

By | architecture, construction, consultancy, general, government-legislation, green-energy, planning, project-management-2, recruitment, renewable-energy, rural business, rural economy, rural-affairs, rural-housing, rural-offices, rural-solutions-news | No Comments

Rural Solutions will be exhibiting at the Farm Business Innovation Show at the Birmingham NEC on 9 and 10 November – the leading diversification and innovation event for farmers and landowners. Come and visit our stand and click on the link above for your free entrance tickets!

Two planning approvals for Yorkshire Estate

By | planning, rural business, rural economy, rural-offices | No Comments

At Planning Committee yesterday, Craven District Council members approved two developments on a Yorkshire estate.

‘The Bothy’ is a vacant building in disrepair located adjacent to a walled garden in a Grade II listed historic park and garden.  The consent will enable the demolition of the building and replacement with a new well being centre incorporating a swimming pool, sauna, gym and therapy room along with reconfiguration of the car park.  This new building, designed by Yiangou Architects, will be fit for purpose and will also sit more comfortably with the Sir Michael Hopkins designed ‘Utopia’ building.


(C) John Slater

The second consent was for reuse and reconfiguration of the farm buildings at Skinner Ground Farm on the Estate.  Currently used as an estate yard for storage of machinery and joiners shop, the farm building will now be demolished and replaced with new offices and pharmaceutical laboratories.  Already tenants on the business park, the pharmaceutical company needed a larger space to enable expansion so a new purpose built premises will be created for them.  The decision was a delegated approval pending further investigation with highways to ensure a satisfactory outcome for access.

Government Opens Rural Planning Review Call for Evidence

By | government-legislation, planning, rural business, rural economy, rural-affairs, rural-housing, rural-offices | No Comments

A new Rural Planning Review will look to reduce regulatory burdens in support of new homes, jobs and innovation.

Rural entrepreneurs and housebuilders in England will have the opportunity to provide ideas on how the planning system can better support rural life, making it simpler for them to expand their businesses and to build much needed new homes.

The move comes as the government launches a planning review to reduce regulatory burdens in support of new homes, jobs and innovation. It will also review the rules for converting agricultural buildings to residential use, building on the success of the 2014 changes which have seen more than 2,000 agricultural buildings being allowed to be converted to much-needed homes.

The Rural Planning Review, jointly published by the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, is the latest milestone in the delivery of the Government’s Rural Productivity Plan, launched last summer by Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, and Environment Secretary, Elizabeth Truss.

The plan sets out new measures to boost the rural economy by investing in education and skills, improving infrastructure and connectivity, and simplifying planning laws for rural businesses and communities. Already the Government is delivering on these objectives, designed to drive up productivity and ensure the countryside becomes an ever more attractive place for people to live, work, start a business and bring up a family.

Planning was one of the priorities for rural action included in the government’s response to the Lord Cameron Review on Rural Proofing published in December, which sets out a series of measures to ensure government departments fully understand rural issues to better protect the services delivered for rural communities, as well as boosting productivity in the countryside. Defra and Cabinet Office have since agreed with Lord Cameron that the development of rural proofing guidance should be given priority.

All evidence and comments are to be submitted by 21 April 2016.