Agricultural Occupancy Condition

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  • Yep, just to add weight to the above, a cattery is definitely not an agricultural use and would not qualify you for living in a dwelling with an agricultural occupancy condition!
  • shaz_mum_of__2shaz_mum_of__2 Forumite
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    Hi there

    Useful thread thanks to op.

    I have a question .We have found a property with AOC previously used as a rabbit farm.............if i were to be the farmer and raise rare breed chickens and hubby carried on working (he is close to retirement) would this qualify us to buy it?

    I assume rabbit breeding was the previous owners"business" but not sure.Also if in addition to chickens we offered B&B (its in a touristy area) would that help?

    thanks in advance

    shaz
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    Shaz
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  • Debt_Free_ChickDebt_Free_Chick Forumite
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    Chickens would be OK, provided it were a commercial venture and not "a hobby". Although, if on a hobby-scale, you might get away with it provided a local resident did not object. What, exactly, did you have in mind?

    The B&B is irrelevant to the definition of agriculture and might, in itself, require separate planning permission!!!!
    Warning ..... I'm a peri-menopausal axe-wielding maniac ;)
  • shaz_mum_of__2shaz_mum_of__2 Forumite
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    No specifics other than rearing rare breeds for re-sale to others as layers rather than as meat plus the obvious egg production

    quite like the idea of rearing rare breed pigs too but doubt theres enough space really

    thanks

    shaz
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    Shaz
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  • edited 6 July 2009 at 8:10PM
    DavesnaveDavesnave Forumite
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    edited 6 July 2009 at 8:10PM
    B&B will probably be looked upon favourably as farm diversification, but for that to happen, you first need a farm!

    The chicken idea could work, but as DFC says, it has to look like a 'work' operation to be convincing. The people you are trying to convince are your neighbours who, if you live in a 'touristy area,' won't be happy if you appear to be bending the rules to save perhaps £100k on your property price.

    Remember, it isn't the money you make on the enterprise that's the important factor, but how much time you spend on it, though it's better if you keep accounts and organise things in a way that shows you are complying with the spirit of Ag-tie, just in case.....

    The amount of vigilance over ag-ties varies considerably from one local authority to another. It's my opinion that with unavoidable swingeing cuts in public expenditure looming ever closer, overseeing these relics of a bygone era will become a very low priority for already hard-pressed planners.;)
  • lincroft1710lincroft1710 Forumite
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    Agricultural Occupancy Restrictions can be removed, not easily and not in every case.
  • First, this is a very interesting thread, many thanks for everyone's interesting inputs.

    I am thinking of buying a house with a few acres that has an agricultural occupancy restriction. I am very happy to work the land to provide a living, as i have made a bit of money, and now just want to enjoy a high quality lifestyle ie listening to birds, etc rather than chasing more money.

    i have found an interesting property with an old and rather horrible bungalow on it, and my thoughts are that i would like to tear it down and build something special in it's place. i am not looking to extend it or make it bigger, it already has 3 bedrooms and that's enough for my needs. i would like to create a little jewel, green oak and natural stone etc.

    however, i can't afford to do this and then discover that in the future if i want to move i can't sell it for anywhere near what i put into it. so my question is, what determines the price of a AG tied property, is it purely market forces, ie restricted mortgage availability, and the requirement to satisfy the ag tie rules.

    presumably, if i built the house and then decided to move (by the way that is not the plan, the plan is to build the house to stay!) presumably i could ask whatever i wanted for it, and the market would decide what it was worth?

    many thanks in advance
  • DavesnaveDavesnave Forumite
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    Stumbler, your plan depends first upon the attitude of your local council. Some are very supportive to ideas like yours, especially if the bungalow is sub-standard or non-conventional in construction. Others may be less helpful, resisting 'over-development' of what were once intended as modest homes. The size of what you plan to replace the bungalow with will be relevant, so if you are sticking with the existing volume, that's positive.

    As to the future value, that will be controlled by market forces alone, so you could ask what you like for it, should you need to move. There will always be relatively wealthy ex-farming people, looking to retire, who will find the opportunity to run a few sheep & hens more appealing than poking around a tiny garden. There are also more people like yourself, escaping the rat race, who understand the ag-tie rules and are willing to take a punt on such a property. Therefore, if the house is 'right,' you might well get your money back, though it's always going to be less than an identical untied house would make.

    Your next step is to speak informally with your local planning officer for that district. Make an appointment and run a few ideas past him/her. If the bungalow is hideous, make sure you have photos and that the P O has the relevant file at the meeting.

    Best of luck. I'm sure there will be others along to offer their advice shortly. If you have the genuine intention of working the land and improving the building on it, then you are in with a good chance.

    From a personal persective, I bought a tied property this year at a very good price, so I could probably put a tidy amount into it and still see my money back. Though structurally sound and relatively normal inside, it is hideous externally. I have found my local planners very supportive in initial discussions about how that might be sorted-out.
  • I have been looking at buying a property with an AOC however it is not owned by anyone in agriculture. His ex wife and children live in the property the divorce was i understand about 1998. The AOC wording is obscure and relates to working in agriculture or forestry or retired from agriculture or their resident dependents. I do not qualify for the AOC however I want the property because of the price. My question is what does resident dependents mean and would the divorce make any difference to whether the AOC us enforceable.
  • lincroft1710lincroft1710 Forumite
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    Is the price low because of the AOC? If so then clearly the AOC is still in force. As by your own admission you would not qualify for occupation of this property, there is little point in you considering its purchase unless the local planning authority have confirmed their willingness to lift the AOC.

    Failure by an occupier to confirm to requirements of an AOC does not render the AOC unenforceable.
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