Land Agency assistant required

Land Partners is seeking an assistant to work in across range of topic areas. Graduates with cognate and non-cognate degrees will be considered. A desire to work towards qualification as a Chartered Surveyor would be an advantage and training will be offered to achieve this goal. A good practical knowledge of arable farming practice is desirable though not essential. Flexibility and a willingness to learn will be essential characteristics. A competitive salary and training package will be offered to the successful candidate. Please reply in confidence to info@landpartners.co.uk or telephone...

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Permitted Development Rights

On the 12th March the housing minister announced further changes to the Permitted Development Rights (PDR) that affect farmers.   Under the current Part Q regulations the conversion of agricultural buildings to residential is limited to a maximum of 3 units and a cumulative total of 465sqm. From 6 April 2018 this will be relaxed to allow up to 5 units to be built. There can be no more than 3 larger homes, as under the old rules, with any additional properties being no larger than 100 sqm.   Permitted Development Rights for new agricultural buildings are currently limited to 465sqm...

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Changes to Probate Fees

Probate fees are due to rise in May 2017. Following a consultation in 2016, significant increases in the fees payable for a grant of probate are due in May this year.  Currently the system requires a flat fee to be paid, which is, if carried out through a solicitor, £155 and if not, the fee is £215.  This will change in May to a banded fee, relative to the value of assets and the estate.  A table below shows the potential costs and significant potential increase, which could have implications on families, assets held and businesses involved within the probate. Value of Estate (before...

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BPS 2017

It’s that time of year again and BPS applications are now up and running. The scheme is primarily online and paper forms will only be sent to individuals who completed a paper form in 2016 and did not use an agent. Whilst we are now three years into the current scheme, there are still ‘wrinkles’ and we are well placed to help you complete a successful application.  If you do wish us to help complete your forms this year, we would be grateful if you could let us know and provide the information we will need: A copy of the 2016 claim 2016 claim statement 2017 cropping details...

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Business Resilience and Succession Planning Seminar Case study

Jim and Jane (both in their mid 70’s) live at Home Farm, on the edge of the village, where they have just celebrated their 50th harvest. They have 3 children in their 40’s, Keith, Katherine and Karl.  Keith and Katherine each have 2 children, Lance (10 yo) and Lauren (8 yo), and Mark (19 yo) and Mary (17 yo) respectively. Home Farm includes 500 acres, of which 450 acres are in arable cropping and the remainder is woodland and rough that supports a small family shoot. The land is farmed in hand by Jim and Jane in partnership and they have one employee, Neil. Neil is 64 years old and looking...

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Development prospects

Whatever you might think of immigration it is clear that housing demand is growing and this part of East Anglia feels the pressure more than most. Edge Analytics produced a report in May 2015 that suggested Essex needs to build 190,000 new houses between 2012 and 2037. These figures, together with other evidence, are being processed by the various District Councils for incorporation into the emerging Local Plans. Many local authorities are rushing to get an adopted Local Plan in place following the Government’s announcement in October 2015 that ‘if councils fail to produce and bring into...

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Landscape Issue 5 Out Now

Our newsletter is out now.  Find the link on our Home Page and we hope you enjoy Issue 5.

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Brexit impacts on farming

Well, we have only gone and done it! Whilst the polls were always close ‘those in the know’ were sure that the bookies had it right and we were going to stay in the EU. Wrong again, and now we have a mad scrabbling for position which just delays the difficult decisions a little further. Agriculture was the biggest recipient of EU funds and has the most to lose in a tussle with the NHS. The CLA and NFU have produced papers outlining priorities for a UK Agricultural Policy (UKAP). The core point is that agriculture has to remain a profitable business if the countryside is to retain its...

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Congratulations Belinda and Bill

Our Partner Belinda Young has recently celebrated  her marriage.  I’m sure you will all join us in wishing Belinda and Bill a very joyful and happy future together. Congratulations Belinda and Bill.

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The Perfect Storm

This time last year we entered the spring with a level of positive optimism, crops looked well, fertiliser was cheaper than last year, grain prices where strong and potential output looked good.  This gave us confidence to provide the crop with a robust disease control strategy.  Once all the major decisions had been made, in terms of level of expenditure, the markets started to collapse. This slide continued as a result of the strong pound, high global production and falling demand.  The only light at the end to the tunnel was that most growers had taken advantage of the higher prices at...

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Where is the silver lining?

It has been clear since the late spring of 2015 that confidence is waning in the agricultural land market. Prices achieved in mid 2015 were in many cases lower than those in 2014 and by the end of 2015 a continuing crisis in confidence was resulting in guide prices coming down and properties failing to find a buyer. It is not all doom and gloom. Recent research has suggested that land prices across England rose marginally in 2015 but there is little doubt that the trend has been negative in the East of England. Essex saw over 4,000 acres in the market but divided between 21 locations this...

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SMOKE AND CARBON MONOXIDE ALARM (ENGLAND) REGULATIONS PASSED

THE NEW REGULATION On 11 March 2015 it was announced that landlords would be required to install and check smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in their residential properties.  New regulations were passed by both Houses of Parliament on Monday 14 September 2015. The Regulations effect England only and came into force on 1st October 2015. The Government has introduced the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations (2015) to make landlords in the private rented sector in England responsible for ensuring that smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are appropriately installed and are in proper...

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Net tightens on Inheritance Tax relief for Furnished Holiday Lets

HMRC have recently won a tribunal decision that confirms that inheritance tax relief will only be available on furnished holiday lets (FHL) in exceptional circumstances. Simon Dixon Smith of Land Partners comments ‘the newly released case of Green v HMRC confirms that the majority of holiday lettings businesses will not attract inheritance tax relief. This will be costly to the families of holiday cottage owners’. It is estimated that there are over 75,000 units of FHL in the UK. Many of these will have been purchased for the primary benefit of the owners with holiday lets offered as a way...

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The Deregulation Act 2015

On 26 March 2015 the Deregulation Act 2015 received Royal Assent and brings important legislative changes in deposit protection and Section 21 notices. The changes made attempt to clarify the issues created by the court cases of Superstrike vs Rodrigues and Charalambous vs Ng. Tenancy Deposit Protection and Section 21 Notice – What the changes mean- Summary If you have taken a deposit on any Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) before April 2007 and it is not protected then the deposit must be protected and Prescribed Information (PI) served, otherwise you will not be able to issue a...

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SCHEME UPDATES FROM LAND PARTNERS LLP

Hopefully you are now registered on the Rural Payments online system. If not, ring 03000 200 301 now! This remains a condition of entry for all schemes. Basic Payment Scheme The paper based application forms for 2015 (form BP5) will be emailed to registered applicants from next week for completion by 15th June. The forms look similar to the old SP5 claim forms. Note that there are 22 pages of new crop codes (e.g. winter wheat changes from OT1 to AC66). New information required for the claim mainly centres on the need to specify EFA areas. Where relevant for the EFA you will need to have...

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Latest RICS/RAU Land Market Survey

RICS RAU Rural Market Survey – 2013 H1_Lite Lack of supply fuelling demand remains a prevalent theme in the latest Land Market report released by the RICS & RAU today. It’s also interesting to note the slight shift from farmer buyers as the dominant force to those coming into the market for investment purposes showing their strength in 2013. The divergence in prices achieved for larger good quality blocks against smaller less productive areas continues and it is interesting to note the range of comments from agents across the country.  Overall a positive report for the UK...

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Simplified planning regulations for alternative uses of Farm Buildings

The Government have given clear signals that they want to help rural businesses to diversify to stimulate the local economy. Current conversion rights The Government have recognised that a major hindrance to re-use of agricultural buildings is the planning system. The easiest way to get conversion work going is through broadening ‘permitted development’. The first stage of this process was completed with the adoption of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (England) Order 2013 on the 30th May 2013. This allowed extensions to existing dwellings and...

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BPR on commercial property

The Trustees of David Zetland Settlement v HMRC (2013) In a First Tier Tribunal case reported on the 1st May 2013 the question of when a business consists of ‘wholly or mainly making or holding investments’ (IHTA 1984 s105(3)) was considered. A business that falls into this category will not be ‘relevant business property’ eligible for Business Property Relief (BPR) from Inheritance Tax. The David Zetland Settlement owned, amongst other things, the head lease of a 140,000 sqft commercial building in Scrutton Street, EC2. The building was divided into 53 separate units. These were let as...

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Rural Business Rates

A little warning of a potential issue for those who have found an alternative use for a building on their farm but are yet to pay any business rates.  From April 2013, local councils will take on a more direct relationship with the business rates which they collect.  Whereas the current regime means that a local authority is responsible for collecting business rates, the money collected is then transferred to central government.  From central government, funds are distributed according to a prescribed formula which does not rely on the amount of business rates collected.  This provides...

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Landowners borrowing an inheritance tax advantage

Please see the attached article on the affect on landowners of the changes proposed in the Finance (no.2) Bill 2013 to the treatment of liabilities on assets within a deceased person’s estate. This may result in increased IHT being payable as a result of reductions in claims for Agricultural Property Relief (APR) and Business Property Relief (BPR). Liabilities and IHT article

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Landscape is out!

Land Partners publishes its first newsletter. Copies are in the post. If you would like to read Landscape please contact us on info@land-partners.co.uk or click on the link below. Land Partners Landscape Newsletter

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Few opportunities for Essex farmland buyers in 2012

Whilst headlines in 2012 proclaimed the continuing rise in agricultural land prices buyers in some areas were unlikely to have found something to purchase. Availability: Just over 2,600 acres of farmland was offered for sale in Essex in 2012, in 16 blocks averaging 166 acres each. Three good sized farms failed to find a buyer meaning that only 1750 acres were sold in the open market achieving a total sale price of around £16.5m. Private sales have increased the total sales slightly but not to the same extent as previous years. Suffolk, on the other hand, saw over 7,000 acres publically...

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Farming 2012 – a curate’s egg

It’s now nearly 8 months that Land Partners has been up and running and operating from a converted farm building in a working farm yard. Nothing brings home the vagaries of the agricultural year like watching it out the window and receiving regular updates in passing from the horses’ mouths (apologies boys). Not being the farming expert within the firm, it’s been a great reminder of all the points in the farming year which together bring success or heartache at harvest. It’s hard to remember now that we were seriously worried about drought conditions at the beginning of the year and as...

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Properties on the market

A new month and a new page added to the Land Partners website with the launch of two properties to the market – one for sale and one to let. Land Partners’ first foray into the land sales market comprises a block of c.85 acres of predominantly arable land near Cambridge. The land is classified Grade 2 and is good cereal growing land in a convenient location. Interest has already been strong and further interest is anticipated following on from the advert in the Farmers Weekly on 6th July. The land is available at a guide of £700,000. On the lettings front, Kentishes Farmhouse is a handsome...

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UK AGRICULTURE SITS ON AN EQUITY GOLDMINE

Banks are “falling over themselves” to lend to farmers because of the growing value of agricultural land and the sector’s excellent credit record. The result is that farmers can afford to be bold in their investment decisions because lenders are less concerned about what purpose borrowed funds are used for. In turn this is providing a wide variety of enterprise opportunities. The report and the confident outlook comes from Simon Dixon Smith of Land Partners (LLP), the new advice team for farmers in the eastern region. “Banks will offer funds on a five year fixed term at around 4.5%,” he...

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Welcome

Land Partners is an independent land agency firm offering a broad range of services relating to rural property across Essex, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and beyond. The three partners bring a combined 50 years of experience in the rural sector.

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