Agricultural Ties on Property - What do you have to do to fulfill them?
My partner and I and another couple are looking into buying a property with land attached with a view to farming the land in order to become as self-sufficent as possible. Unfortunately for us, the only way we would be able to afford this is to buy a property with an agricultural tie. I have been researching these and have found various, conflicting advice regarding them. None of us are currently employed in agriculture, but if we were to buy a property, at least 2, more likely 3 of the 4 adults living there would spend their time working on the land and would not be employed in another profession.
However, in order to pay the inevitable bills (mortgage, insurance, council tax etc) we would need one person to work outside agriculture to bring in a garunteed income. The advice from some articles/bulletin boards state that to get around the clause the majority of the household income must come from agriculture or forestry. This would be a problem - we intend to consume what we produce on the land, not sell it for monetary profit, in which case it's not impossible but would mean buying a smallholding with a view to running it as a business to make profit rather than to produce what we need ourselves. However, other sources state that in law the way the 'employment' of agricultural workers is determined is by what they spend the majority of their time doing, and not on the household earnings. If this is the case, having 2 or 3 people working full time on the land, and 1 earning outside agriculture I assume we would be fulfilling the requirement of the clause as of all the hours worked the majority would be in agriculture.
Does anyone have any further information on this? Who would I need to approach to get a clear answer one way or another on what activities would or wouldn't fulfill the clause? Are the oweners/occupiers of agricultural properties actually audited by anyone to prove that they are within the restrictions of the clause, or is it a case of whether the local authority gets a bee in it's bonnet about properties with ag-ties or not? I am fully in favour of ag-ties in principle, and would rather see any property go to someone who is genuinely engaged in agriculture than remain unsold, get the tie lifted and end up being developed and sold at a gross profit, so any advice on this would be greatly appreciated...
Re: Agricultural Ties on Property - What do you have to do to fulfill them?
Hi, I have just seen an article you wrote on 07/06/07 at 9.40pm regarding purchasing a home and maybe a farm and you wanted to know about agricultural ties. Before I go into detail, as you may have already found the answer, but we have a farm and a bungalow with an agriculture tie, also outbuildings which are let out to ensure an income but they have been given planning consent to build dwelling.Also planning for two static caravans to live in and look after the farm. We are in Somerset.
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