The UK’s agriculture, horticulture, dairy and meat processing sectors are heavily dependent on seasonal migrant workers but are finding it increasingly difficult to source and retain their services.
Changes in the exchange rate, improving unemployment rates elsewhere and increased competition from labour providers in other EU countries are some of the many reasons why UK businesses are finding it increasingly difficult to source and retain seasonal migrant labour.
Providing good quality on or off-site accommodation is one potential way in which businesses might try and help attract seasonal migrant workers. Crucially, it may also encourage seasonal migrant workers to return for work in future years with ‘returners’ often seen as vital to the overall productivity of seasonal work in light of the incremental skills and experiences they acquire in the same business over the years.
Existing seasonal workers’ accommodation in the UK tends to range from on or off-site caravan/mobile homes right through to on-site accommodation for thousands of workers with large well-equipped gyms, tennis courts, canteens and bars. The challenges to achieving planning permissions for different projects vary from site to site; with each project assessed by council planners on their own merits.
Planning is a highly complex profession and procuring the advice of experienced planning consultants at the very outset of accommodation discussions can often be key to trying to achieve future planning permissions. With communities often very apprehensive about planning applications for seasonal migrant workers, experienced planning consultants can also help business and landowners to manage their public engagement with local communities and help monitor and respond to any concerns raised.
At Paris Smith LLP we have a highly experienced team of planning consultants and planning solicitors who understand the political context that planning applications for seasonal migrant workers’ accommodation operate within. Based in Southampton and Winchester but undertaking planning for clients all across the UK, Paris Smith are also listed CLA Planning Advisors for the South East and South West and regularly undertake planning appraisals for farms and landowners.
Planning consultants can undertake early planning appraisals of sites to help businesses identify and understand the potential planning risks that may arise during the course of future planning applications. They can also then help devise appropriate planning strategies to allow clients the best chance of securing planning permissions.
If you would like to get in touch for assistance with any planning consultancy or planning legal work, or for us to undertake an initial planning appraisal of your land, please contact a member of the Planning team.