Agriculture and Rural Business Law
Based in rural Lincolnshire – “the bread basket of England” – we are one of the leading agricultural law specialists in the region.
For over 200 years, we have been looking after farmers, landowners and an increasingly diverse range of rural businesses. Our specialist agricultural law solicitors act for major landowners throughout the East Midlands and develop long-standing relationships with our clients.
In addition to acting on behalf of farmers and landowners, we are the appointed legal services provider to the National Association of Agricultural Contractors (NAAC). We provide a host of services to their members, regularly advising farmers, contractors and landowners throughout England and Wales.
Chattertons draws upon a wealth of expertise and experience from across the firm to provide strategic advisory services as well as transactional business services to the agricultural and rural business sector.
Our advice extends beyond the constraints of a single service professional service firm enabling clients to draw upon knowledge based upon a true understanding of agricultural law and wealth management services.
Our expertise in agricultural and rural business law
The Agriculture & Rural Business team will be pleased to assist you with:
- Farm sales and purchases
- Agricultural holdings
- First tier tribunals (ALT)
- Share farming and joint ventures
- Agricultural co-operatives
- Compulsory purchase orders
- Basic Payment Scheme and other subsidy schemes
- Wills and tax
- Rights of way and common land
- Planning and diversification
- Wind farms, solar arrays and anaerobic digesters
- Employment issues
- Seasonal and illegal workers
- Health and safety
- Dispute resolutions
- Environmental issues
- Inheritance and succession planning
- Wealth management services
Clients often ask us…
What can agricultural land be used for in the UK?
To summarise, agricultural land is any piece of land that is used for farming-related activities. This will typically involve agricultural production of both crops and livestock, with agricultural land being split into arable and pastureland.
Whether or not you are able to build on agricultural land will depend on a number of factors. Certain laws will allow for buildings to be constructed on agricultural land without planning permission, but this is strictly regulated and will depend on the intended use of the building.
Our agricultural law solicitors will be able to provide detailed advice in relation to your position as the owner of agricultural land and what you will be permitted to develop in both the short and long-term.
What is a Farm Business Tenancy?
A farm business tenancy is an arrangement that is created under the Agricultural Tenancies Act 1995. They essentially act as arrangements where a tenant (either an individual or business) rents all or part of a farm for trade. This will be primarily for agricultural purposes.
Farm business tenancies do not necessarily need to be in writing, which means many tenants may have one without already being aware.
What is an agricultural cooperative?
Agricultural cooperatives are business associations used by farmers. While there are several different types of agricultural cooperatives, the aim behind them is to combine shared resources to increase revenues and reduce costs.
Agricultural cooperatives can provide farmers and agricultural landowners with greater control over the supply chain, as well as helping to cut certain costs and share innovations that will boost output and productivity in the long run.
Are there tax reliefs for agricultural properties?
There are tax reliefs that can apply to agricultural properties. Certain properties will be eligible for Agricultural Relief, which means that it is possible to pass on some agricultural property free of Inheritance Tax (or at a reduced rate), either during your lifetime or as part of a Will.
Agricultural relief can be available at 100% or 50% depending on various factors. It is due at 100% if the following applies:
- The owner of the land also farmed it themselves
- Someone else used the land on a short-term grazing licence
- The property was let on a tenancy that began on or after 1 September 1995
A property would also qualify for 100% relief if it was owned before 10 March 1981 and:
- It would have qualified under Schedule 8 Finance Act 1975 if it was transferred before that date
- The person who owned the property had no possible right to vacant possession between the date and the date of the current transfer
Any other cases see the relief due at a rate of 50%.
Can I change the use of my agricultural property?
While it may be possible to change the use of an agricultural property, doing so will usually require planning permission. This can be a very complex matter, with many working parts, which is why the advice of an experienced solicitor is likely to be essential for these plans to be approved and put into motion.
Why choose Chattertons?
Chattertons is a leading firm of solicitors, providing a range of legal services to individuals and businesses across Lincolnshire and the East Midlands.
Alongside the legal services we provide, we are uniquely positioned to offer specialist independent financial advice.
During our years of legal practise, we have been able to develop strong links with our local communities. Our primary aim is to provide you with a high quality, bespoke service that is carefully tailored to your priorities and commercial requirements.
Agricultural law can be particularly complex, which is where the expertise of our specialist team can prove invaluable. Using our decades of combined experience, we will strive to find a positive result in the most cost-effective manner – no matter what that may include.
Speak to our agricultural law solicitors
For expert advice in relation to agricultural and rural business law, you can contact our local offices in Boston, Grantham, Horncastle, Lincoln, London, Newark, Sleaford, Spalding or Stamford.
To ask a question or request a call back at a time that suits you, please use our simple enquiry form and a member of our team will get back to you quickly.