Agricultural Occupancy Condition

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  • planning_officerplanning_officer Forumite
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    I really don't see them splitting hairs like this for very long, especially if it was costly which it would be with me because it would be so pathetic that I would fight it equally pathetically if they did spend taxpayers money chasing one occupier of a rural property conducting a large scale agri business!
    Just a friendly word of warning (if you're referring to Council enforcement procedures in the above paragraph) - yes, tax payers money could be spent pursuing enforcement action, and it no doubt would be (as dwellings with AOC's would never have got planning permission without the AOC attached - so Councils will guard them!). But ultimately a lot of enforcement costs can then be recovered from the owner of the property/land - initially by billing them for the costs of any enforcement action, and then by placing a land charge on the property, so it can never be sold without the Council regaining their money as part of the sale.
  • didgeridoooodidgeridoooo Forumite
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    Thanks planning officer. Pretty much as expected then. Its a shame as the kind of activities and business which my family would set up on the place is precisely what these AOCs were designed for, i.e. agri work for local food production for local people!! Its a shame because I think the only point we would trip up or fall foul of council is if we had our disabled friend come and live with us in old age or to allow us to take care etc, but the agri stuff would continue.

    Never mind, I think we might look for something to squat on instead, it seems easier ;):D
  • lincroft1710lincroft1710 Forumite
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    can i ask the district Valuer for advice about the price, it seems a bit high to me, ( £100.000) to high!:o

    The District Valuer only values property for central and local government, they do not advise private individuals.
    If you are querying your Council Tax band would you please state whether you are in England, Scotland or Wales
  • didgeridoooodidgeridoooo Forumite
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    Find out where the DV works, follow him home, follow him to the pub, buy some drinks and happen across the relevant conversation, Roberts your mother's brother :)
  • planning_officerplanning_officer Forumite
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    Its a shame as the kind of activities and business which my family would set up on the place is precisely what these AOCs were designed for, i.e. agri work for local food production for local people!! Its a shame because I think the only point we would trip up or fall foul of council is if we had our disabled friend come and live with us in old age or to allow us to take care etc, but the agri stuff would continue.
    But it sounds like you'd be complying with the AOC so I don't foresee any problem. Also, if your disabled friend comes to live with you and you're all living as one household - i.e. if they're sharing facilities in the main dwelling as well as in the annexe (which presumably they would be, if you're taking on a caring role), then that probably would be fine too - the whole building would be occupied as one dwelling, rather than two separate ones. I would get clarification from your local Council though, in case they are more strict.
  • didgeridoooodidgeridoooo Forumite
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    Thanks very much Planning Officer. Yes I can see how it might be workable, I think the concern is just that we are inviting a potential problem which my friend would really rather do without. I would gladly talk and work with the council on this as I am sure, assuming common sense prevails as it usually does, that they would see it is all very good for the local area and for farming too as we do intend to start a nice little smallholding with all those local produce ideas which we everyone knows we need more of these days.

    On another note, one extra level of complication is that my friend discussed the idea of us putting a mobile home on the land behind the property for us to use as accommodation if my friend moved in later. That is something my friend hadn't suggested before now, and whilst it suits me just fine, I think properties with AOCs on them would be less tolerant of mobile homes than ones without AOCs, unless you think differently?

    Again, thanks very much for your advice and can I just say that I think its wonderful that you should choose to spend time helping people with enquiries like these on a forum such as this. I understand fully that your advice is not formal advice at all, just thoughts from someone likely to have a good idea of such matters, but all the same its very kind and helpful of you to do it.
  • Hi Planning _officer, thanks for your reply, I think my wile and I will view the property next week, and will contact NDDC planning dept; to get there views on my plans, They have been helpful in the past with informal advice.
    Thanks again for the info on all the threads.
  • planning_officerplanning_officer Forumite
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    On another note, one extra level of complication is that my friend discussed the idea of us putting a mobile home on the land behind the property for us to use as accommodation if my friend moved in later. That is something my friend hadn't suggested before now, and whilst it suits me just fine, I think properties with AOCs on them would be less tolerant of mobile homes than ones without AOCs, unless you think differently?
    That could be a real problem, for both you and your friend - your friend would then occupy a house in breach of the AOC and you would be living in a mobile home with no planning permission!

    The mobile home constitutes a new dwelling as it wouldn't be connected to the original house and would therefore need planning permission - and, to be honest, in most rural areas that is unlikely to be granted planning permission.
  • addy555addy555 Forumite
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    We are about to exchange contracts on a cottage which we have found out has an agricultural tie. We found the letters below on the planning application file. Does anyone know if these letters would give us enough evidence to have the condition lifted?
    • Consultation response from the Environmental Services Department dated 06.04.94 suggesting that because it was believed there were farms in the locality it would be best to restrict the use of the cottage to agricultural workers who would be used to the smell; Farm next door is in fact used as a livery & has been for several years & the stables / manure are located on the boundary of nearby Lane some distance away with no associated odours detected at the cottage. The reason the condition was primarily imposed was to protect the occupants from any odours not to the green belt.
    • Letter from architect to Planning Department dated 06.07.94 which asks if the condition could be withdrawn as the owner was not an agricultural worker and he would find it difficult to sell the property with this condition attached.
    • Letter from Environmental Services Department to Architect dated 18.08.94 stating that this was a reasonable request in the circumstances. This is an informal letter and the condition was never formally removed.
    Many thanks in advance
  • DavesnaveDavesnave Forumite
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    addy555 wrote: »
    Does anyone know if these letters would give us enough evidence to have the condition lifted?



    I'm no expert, but although the reasons for the original tie are no longer applicable, this does not in itself give grounds for its removal. I wish it did!

    I live in an ag-tied house, once owned by a pig farm. That piggery no longer exists and ownership is entirely different, but the tie stands.

    Although, apparently, the council was looking favourably towards the removal of the tie in 1994, this was a considerable time ago, so policy and procedures are likely to have changed.

    In recent years, owners have usually been asked to prove that a property is hard to sell, by marketing it at an appropriate price and unsuccessfully for a period of a year to 18 months. This has led to some hilariously bad marketing, but properties with land tend to sell.

    For these reasons, my answer would be "No," but it will be interesting to see what others say.
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