Project Planning

Director, Mike Bennett, will work with the client to advise, plan and implement bespoke solutions. Mike is experienced in all aspects of project planning including submitting planning applications as well as dealing with existing planning issues such as environmental concerns, safety aspects of demolition, piling and complex foundation work.  He works with specialist subcontractors including structural engineers, specialist piling contractors, noise assessors together with well-respected groundworks and building manufacturers.

Advice about individual storage requirements and products will all be tailored to the client’s needs.


In recent years, Mike has seen the capacity requirements for new grain, potato and vegetable storage projects increase.  This means that there is an even greater need for detailed planning and project management as well as design work.  This has been further increased with the most recent Construction Design and Management Regulations which came into effect in April 2015 (CDM 2015), aiming to ensure issues around project management as well as health and safety are thoroughly considered and carried out through each project.

In the initial stages of planning a project, there are many factors which need to be considered.  Some of the important ones are listed below:


Plan as early as possible to ensure the storage is ready for your projected first harvest.

  • Careful evaluation of realistic storage requirements needs to be considered, allowing for yield increase or the possibility of more land being acquired
  • Combine capacity, trailer sizes and the distance travelled from the furthest field all need to be taken into consideration
  • Daily harvest capacity of potatoes/onions.
  • ‘Prior Notification’ planning now available on a square area of 1000m² (usually an answer in 4 weeks)
  • Planning applications for larger projects take up to 13 weeks


A new /existing /greenfield site?

  • asbestos might be a consideration in existing buildings (needing specialist removal)
  • bats/wildlife nesting within existing buildings (specialist surveys by nature conservation bodies prior to demolition)
  • stable land or will it need piling? (any previous ground investigations available?)
  • near a water course?
  • specific drainage requirements such as a SuDS (sustainable drainage scheme) or a water harvesting scheme
  • environmental considerations such as ground water level/ leakage/ pollution
  • tree and hedge removal required/landscaping


  • in or near a built-up area and are there likely to be objections from residents
  • change of use of existing buildings
  • increased traffic
  • increased noise, particularly at night from fans (specialist fan silencers)


  • in an existing farmyard the effect of the building position on traffic flow
  • current roads/tracks/bridges able to take increased traffic loads
  • access roads/bridges/gates adequate for construction vehicles
  • County Highways involvement required?


To take into account those factors noted above such as:

  • piling
  • drainage/watercourses
  • ponds
  • new roadways/aprons


Is the supply sufficient or will it need to be uprated?

Generator or from the grid?


  • Diesel tank and pipework required for new continuous flow grain dryer
  • Dependent on type of drying, will a new gas supply be required or is present supply sufficient?
  • Is there a renewable heat resource available?


  • Steel-frame for a new build?
  • Revamp of existing buildings? (structurally sound or requiring additional strengthening /materials to be considered)
  • Colour of cladding appropriate to environment?
  • Silos?
  • Concrete floor/timber drying floor?


  • Direction of roof for optimum generation?
  • Is the building and roof structurally strong enough to take the panels?
  • How will it feed-in, either locally or to the grid?


What type of bulk handling equipment? (Box potato store/onion store)

What type of grain cleaning and processing equipment?

What type of drying?

  • timber tunnel and drying floor?
  • stirrer?
  • continuous flow grain drier?
  • modulating gas burner?

Control and monitoring equipment?

  • central control panel?
  • remote monitoring and control?
  • safety monitoring including lighting?

NB CIPC distribution in existing box potato stores:

  • active ventilation with speed controlled fans
  • timber suction wall where the slots are correctly sized to give good air flow for CIPC distribution to match the boxes


Remember you, The Client, have certain statutory duties under CDM2015.