Agricultural occupancy conditions are imposed by a local planning authority as a condition to a planning application. Their purpose is to protect agricultural dwellings in the countryside to ensure there is adequate accommodation for agricultural workers in that area. The local authority will wish to ensure a new dwelling in the open countryside will be occupied by agricultural workers of that land, or even nearby agricultural land and their dependants.
Agricultural occupancy conditions can negatively affect the value of the dwelling, so it can pay to have such a condition removed where there is a case for arguing that it is no longer applicable to the property.
If your property is subject to an occupancy restriction and you believe it isn’t now applicable, please contact specialist agricultural occupancy solicitor, Emma Reed. Emma can advise you on applying for a Certificate of Lawful Use or Development (otherwise known as a Certificate of Lawfulness or a CLUED for short), to confirm lawful occupancy in breach of these conditions. The application is to state that the property has not been occupied in accordance with the condition and is immune from enforcement action from the planning department.
To apply for a CLUED you must be able to prove with good evidence at least 10 years of continuous use in breach of the condition and that there has been no enforcement action by the planning department in respect of that breach in that time. The quality of your evidence is important and will need to be supported by sworn statutory declarations, prepared by a solicitor.
Alternatively, you may be able to apply to vary or remove an occupancy condition if for example you can prove that if the property were on the open market, there would be no demand for the property by an agricultural worker in that area.
Each case is different and is determined by its own particular facts and circumstances and the wording of the planning condition. You should therefore seek the advice of a specialist agricultural occupancy solicitor in order to consider your options.
For more information please contact Emma Reed on Freephone 0800 975 8091 or email her at email@example.com