Siting of farm buildings in the landscape context and solving spatial conflicts

Basic Info


Farm buildings are important landscape element; with their siting and visual appearance they contribute to its recognition or degradation. It seems that more and more buildings are sited in inappropriate location, and the need to harmonize building design with traditional rural architectural practices and surrounding landscape is not taken in consideration.

Many developmentally promising farms in Slovenia also face the problem of spatial constraints in settlements. Spatial constraints arise when farms cannot expand their outbuildings in their current location in order to modernize or expand their activity. In addition, they cannot expand or arrange their production areas to accommodate modern farm equipment.

Farms’ spatial constraints reduce their development potential because these constraints prevent them from expanding and modernizing agricultural production, and they make access to farmland more difficult. This issue also affects farm succession because the willingness of the younger generation to engage in farming also depends on farms’ potential to expand. In addition, it affects quality of life and can create social tension in settlements. Disagreements between farmers and non-farmers are most often connected with the nature of agricultural production (odors, noise from farm equipment, and dirty roads), land ownership disputes, trespassing, and vandalism, as well as inappropriately located and built barns and other outbuildings (dimensions and proportions, current use, and how additions were made), which has a negative impact on the appeal and character of the landscape.

In recent years, an increasing number of such conflicts have arisen as a result of urbanization of the countryside, increased pressure on available vacant land in settlements, and changes in the social structure of rural settlements.

Solving spatial conflicts is the responsibility of spatial planning, and the legislation in force offers opportunities for resolving them. However, problems occur in implementation: time- consuming procedures for finding substitute locations, problems in changing or producing spatial plans and obtaining permits, inappropriate stylistic solutions, and stakeholder dissatisfaction. Therefore, the objectives of this study are as follows:

- To identify and prepare an overview of the most pressing spatial conflicts;
- To create starting points, orientations, and recommendations for designing and positioning farm structures in the landscape (based on landscape regions);
- To assess the success of resolving initiatives for relocating or expanding farms from the perspective of both farm development and the satisfaction of other residents in the settlement, and also to determine possible spatial principles;
- To show best-practice examples regarding the relocation of farm structures or entire farms in Slovenia and other comparable countries;
- To resolve conflicts both preventively (by informing the general public) and through additional guidelines for preparing local spatial plans.


Project type
target research project

participatory planning
spatial planning
landscape planning
spatial constraints of farms
farm buildings
spatial conflicts