Land Evaluation Classification

Agricultural Land Classification (ALC)

Is your development scheme on agricultural land? If so, you may well need an ALC report to support your planning application

At Landscope we are experienced and qualified to help landowners, developers, planners and renewables companies to determine the ALC grade of farmland for development proposals.

Government guidance limits development on Grades 1, 2 and 3a farmland, known as ‘Best and Most Versatile’ (BMV) land.Development proposals over 20 hectares, minerals applications, road and pipeline routes and most renewable energy schemes require ALC reports to reduce the loss of BMV land in planning applications and Environmental Statements.

Existing published maps and printed data are often out of date, provisional and not site specific.These do not offer sufficient detail to be reliable on a field-by-field basis.The results of poor ALC reports mean your planning applications are more likely to be refused, your projects will be delayed (or worse) and costs will rise.

At Landscope we have the knowledge, experience and qualification to survey agricultural land and soils in order to determine and prove the land quality. We can advise you on which land is or is not BMV, when development proposals require ALC reports and how best to present the information.We can then support our reports at planning committees, hearings and appeals and provide detailed environmental statements.

What types of scheme require an ALC?

Most large schemes, on land which is currently in agricultural use, will require an Agricultural Land Classification as part of the justification. In addition, all those which need an Environmental Impact Assessment, will also need an ALC, even if they are not over 20 hectares.

These include:

  • Residential development
  • Commercial development
  • Road, rail and pipelines
  • Renewable energy
  • Mineral extraction

Why use Landscope for ALC?

Landscope is qualified and experienced in carrying out these classifications ourselves and act for planners, private clients, local planning authorities and energy companies to deliver comprehensive accurate ALC surveys and accompanying agricultural impact reports, often checking the work of other consultants.

Landscope provides a range of soil and land resource reports:

  • Agricultural Land Classification to identify ‘Best and Most Versatile’ land
  • Environmental Statements
  • Soil storage, handling and land restoration
  • Planning Appraisals / Environmental Impact Assessment for land-based green energy projects, in
  • particular Field Scale Solar PV and Anaerobic Digester Units

Landscope has acted for both private clients and for Local Planning Authorities as an expert witness on a range of soil related matters. This has given us valuable insight into the requirements for a variety of schemes.

How can we help you?

Contact: Sam Franklin on 01525 630113 or email