The simple answer is that there isn’t a definition of forestry in planning law. Agriculture is clearly defined in the Town and Country Planning Act but forestry does not enjoy the same lucidity. Obviously forestry cannot be an activity limited to the growing of timber as that precludes the basic operation of felling but can it include storing timber for seasoning, storing tools and vehicles used in forestry operations, the processing of timber in to sawn planks, firewood, biomass or charcoal can it include the laying of a road or the construction of a dwelling?
Many local planning authorities argue that conversion processes are industrial operations and the timber should be moved to an area with a use class of B2 to conduct that operation. So why stop there, Cows could be transported to a milking parlour in an industrial area to be milked, wheat once severed from the land could be threshed on an industrial estate on the edge of a town. Clearly these examples are totally unreasonable as a primary product produced from the land cannot be sold at a loss and must be capable of conversion in to a saleable, profitable product if rural industries are able to continue.
There are a number of appeal cases that add to the debate yet until a plain, unambiguous definition is set by statue or judicial case law applications for development for the purposes of forestry must be carefully crafted and negotiated with the Local Planning Authority for a successful outcome.