Brexit – England & Wales – What is the latest?

Following recent shake ups in Parliament, it has been announced that English Government have finally produced the Brexit White Paper. This paper proposes the future relationships between the UK and the EU after Brexit. Whilst the 104 page document covers 4 major topics ranging from Foreign Policy and Defence, Trade, Protecting Personal Data and anything in between, the White Paper does also discuss the UK’s position in the EU single market, the current EU Legislation for goods that cross the borders and the ability for the UK to negotiate separate trade arrangements with other Countries.

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Sarah Heath starts at Rostons

Rostons are pleased to announce that Sarah Heath has recently joined the team as a placement student from Harper Adams University. Having completed the first two years of her Rural Enterprise & Land Management Degree, Sarah will now spend 12 months with Rostons as part of her training.

Sarah has a strong agricultural background, having grown up on a mixed farm in Cheshire. In her spare time she enjoys riding and playing hockey. Her enthusiasm coupled with her rural background and knowledge will no doubt be a welcome addition to the existing team.

Sarah is looking forward to developing her skills as a trainee surveyor and working within the North West and North Wales.

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Permitted Development Rights

On the 5th March 2018, Dominic Raab, the Housing Minister announced changes to permitted development rights as follows:- CLASS Q for the conversion of agricultural buildings to residential dwellings. This new legislation came into effect from the 6th April.

Previously, a maximum of 3 residential properties could be converted from agricultural use, with a maximum floorspace of 450 square meters in total.

However, the new changes will permit the following:

  • Up to 3 ‘larger homes’ with a maximum floorspace of 465metres square.
  • Up to 5 ‘smaller homes’ each with less than 100 square metres of floor space.
  • A combination of the above, with no more than 5 homes, of which a maximum of 3 can be “larger homes”

Additionally, changes to Government guidance for Class Q permitted development rights confirmed that it is no longer a specific requirement for the building to be structurally strong enough to support the necessary conversion works. Which suggests that reasonable structural reinforcement works would be acceptable as part of the conversion. Also, internal works do not constitute development and so local planning authorities may not be able to refuse an application based on the extent of the internal works. However, there is still no firm definition of when ‘conversion’ becomes a ‘rebuild’ and so professional advice should be sought to identify the chances of success for each case.

Agricultural business:- There has been an increase in the size of new agricultural buildings allowed under permitted development rights for holdings over 5ha in size. Previously permitted development rights allowed the construction of a new agricultural building up to 465 square meters, this has now increased to 1,000 square meters.

If you require advice relating to this please contact the Rostons team.

 

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HS2 Phase 2A & Phase 2B Update

HS2 Phase 2A

This is the section between Birmingham and Crewe where the Hybrid Bill was submitted into in July 2017. We have just finished petitioning in front of the Select Committee at the Houses of Parliament. This enabled Rostons to raise individual concerns on behalf of Land Owners and Occupiers affected by the route. It was evident from this round of petitioning that responding to the Environmental draft Consultations and Hybrid Bill Consultations ensuring there is a paper trail of evidence so that when before the Committee you can show HS2 have not responded to points previously raised.

HS2 Phase 2B

Earlier this month, HS2 held a number of information events with a number of updated plans showing the temporary and permanent land take effecting the route from Crewe up to Manchester. These are draft drawings will continually evolve as they continue to undertake surveys, environmental and noise monitoring surveys in close proximity to the proposed route. There will be a formal draft environmental consultation report published towards the end of 2018. Those affected will be able to formally respond to the consultation which we would urge any Land Owners or Occupiers to do.

At Rostons, we have also been making a number of Atypical Applications for properties to be purchased, these are where they do not meet the statutory compensation measures or the discretionary HS2 compensation measures. You must prove that the property does not meet these particular schemes and HS2 will as an exception purchase.

If you are affected by the scheme or have any concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the Rostons team at the office.

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Agency

Over the past 6 months, Rostons have had a busy and exciting time with many Agency instructions to sell land and rural property. Instructions have ranged from small pony paddocks in Churton to residential development/barn conversions at Wimbolds Trafford, to large areas of agricultural land.

As always, we urge clients to discuss with their Professional Advisors prior to launch the position on tax and insure that the relevant legal preparations have been made. In our experience, this ensures a smooth and swift sale which meets our client’s objectives.

Rostons are committed to providing a fast and efficient service to anyone thinking of disposing rural property whilst maximising sale values. Our modern marketing methods including drone photo’s together with email, Social media and internet marketing create substantial interest. No longer is a high street window necessary.

If you have a client looking to sell then we would be delighted to arrange a no obligation marketing appraisal.

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Basic Payment Scheme

Land Eligibility & Transfers for Land Sales after 15th May 2018

Something that Rostons have been asked by allied professionals in the past is the position over is the transfer of land whether this is by sale or lease to other occupiers after the BPS deadline of the 15th May 2018.

This is a key topic which requires more understanding, particularly for any sale contracts that are being drafted for Vendors who have sold land that will complete after this deadline.

Land must be eligible for the Basic Payment Scheme for a full calendar year (i.e. up to the 31st December) it is not simply just based on occupation as at the 15th May.

There are also further complications for land that may have been opted for greening and cross compliance rules all of which must also be met up until the end of their particular deadline.

Parties therefore need to be clear about their responsibilities and protect their positions. If a new occupier of land does not meet the requirements, payment reductions and penalties may be applied on the Vendor/Transferor who included the land on his BPS application.

So, who is responsible for meeting the rules if land is transferred?

Scenario 1 – Any BPS claimant must ensure that after the transfer cross compliance rules are met for the rest of the year, even if they did not declare it on their RPA application.

Scenario 2 – Where the purchaser is not an RPA claimant: after the transfer, you as the Vendor/Transferor are still responsible for making sure the cross compliance rules are met.

Therefore, if a new occupier was not a BPS claimant that year and breaches cross compliance rules or any of the greening requirements, this would result in a penalty for a breach in the rules applied to the vendor even if the breach was out of their control and caused by the new occupier.

The sales contract therefore should clearly state that the penalty will be able to be reclaimed from the purchaser.

 

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