Designing for the future

25 Oct , 2018  

If you are thinking about building a new dairy unit or even just a new parlour there are lots of things to consider and decide before you get work started on site;  Building location, internal layout, building size, site levels existing and proposed, relationship to other buildings, proposed costs, parlour type and size, planning approval, services, water, electricity, drainage existing and proposed, ventilation if for stock, access for both vehicular and stock, cow flow around the buildings and parlour.

Many farmers just ‘plough’ ahead with the construction of farm buildings without taking some of the above into consideration and then they may run into problems down the line.

There is a service based in South Tipperary that takes away all the hassle and has the experience to offer the best options and advice available to the customer within their budget.

Agri Design & Planning Services (ADPS) is owned and run by a qualified architect Aidan Kelly. Now in its seventh year in business the company has completed in the region of 2,000 farm designs. Aidan is a specialist in dairy design start up and set up.

Agri Design & Planning Services (ADPS) provides a reliable, independent service from initial discussion to first use. Whether you wish to upgrade or extend your existing facilities, develop a greenfield site or put a ten year development plan in place, ADPS can help you deliver the most labour efficient and cost-effective layout.

Aidan has experience in managing diverse and challenging projects and is from a farming background himself thus understanding the industry completely. He was a new dairy entrant in 2013 and is now milking 120 cows while managing his growing architectural design business. He has a wide range of skills and experience from sectors including agriculture, civil engineering, surveying and project management.

“I would pride myself on efficient layouts, detailed drawings and working with the client to achieve the best design for their budget and farmyard. I offer a consistently high quality and commercially independent service. I offer a different perspective from what the farmer would initially have, but at the end of the day, it is the clients’ decision.”

Agri Design work on all sizes of projects from small shed extensions to large dairy units.

Aidan has always taken pride in the number of projects where a long term working relationship with a client has been realised, and he has many clients for whom he has now carried out several projects. There are several different stages to go through right from the initial phone call made to Aidan.

“Most clients contact me by telephone firstly to make enquiries regarding the work or service they require. I then arrange an appropriate date and time for a farm site visit. I will meet you on the farm site where the proposed work is to take place and discuss your ideas and plans for the site. I will then do a site survey if required and informally discuss options and my professional ideas for your new development on the site.

“Over a short period of time usually within a week I will prepare a draft proposal based on the site visit and meet with you again to discuss and confirm the design proposal for the site.

“Once the site proposal has been confirmed and approved by you I will start the official planning process. I have been specialising in agricultural based planning applications for the past eight years and will take all the stress out of the planning process for you. I fully understand the planning process and am achieving a consistently high planning approval rate with each County Council.

“I will submit the final design (proposal) to your local county council. The planning process from the first phone call with me until the construction start date will take approximately four months. If further information is required it can add a considerable amount of time onto the construction start date so applying in good time is recommended.

“I also provide tender drawings for my clients which can be sent out to local builders for pricing before or after planning is approved. This can give you an estimation of the cost of your proposed site design.”

The full list of services include full planning applications; applications and drawings for exempted development; exemption certification; applications for retention; reference department costs can be prepared; Milking Parlour Layouts; cubicle housing designs; cattle slatted housing; sheep and goat housing, hay barns and storage shed (Grain Storage), stable design, underpass and bridges over rivers, GPS farm mapping, farm roadway and paddock designs, water infrastructure layout and farmyard redesigns and site surveys.

Aidan revealed that his best form of advertising has been through word of mouth as many jobs have led to others.

“A lot of my work would come through word of mouth, farmers speaking to other farmers. The fact that I am a farmer myself is a huge bonus as I can understand fully what the client wants and give them the advice that will best suit them.”

ADPS has carried out its services all over the country, with Aidan revealing that there is just a handful of counties in the country that he hasn’t work in yet.

“I think, Donegal, Monaghan, Cavan, Leitrim and Sligo are the only counties that I haven’t worked in since I set up the business, but hopefully I can complete the list in the future,” he smiled.

“There are a lot of hidden costs when looking for planning and farmers need to be aware of that. Local authorities can have different rates and some counties implement a development contribution while others don’t.”

Agri Design & Planning Services




Co Tipperary.


[email protected]

Taken from Irish Tractor & Agri magazine Vol 6 No 4, June/July 2018