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Julie Robinson
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The Treasury announcement of 3 October is, on the face of it, good news for farmers, land managers and woodland owners. The Government will guarantee funding for agri-environment agreements entered into before we leave the EU but which continue after that...
Julie Robinson
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The Treasury announced on 13 August that it will guarantee the current level of agricultural funding under Pillar 1 of the CAP until 2020. In essence this means that the “direct payments” element of the CAP will continue beyond the date the UK...
Julie Robinson
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We recently ran a seminar in Kent about farming partnerships fit for the 21st century. The seminar was based around a scenario which would be recognisable to many farming families; one of the younger partners stops pulling their weight on the farm,...
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Whilst farmers in England may have had cause to forget about Agricultural Wages Orders following the abolition of the Agricultural Wages Board in 2013, the effect of abolition was not felt in Wales. The Welsh government retained the effect of the last...
Posted in:, Agriculture
Elizabeth Young
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DEFRA has published statistics on farmers’ attitudes towards succession planning. The information was collected via the Farm Business Survey for 2013/14. The key findings were: Just over a third of farm businesses had a nominated successor. For...
Jarred Wright
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Quite a few of us at Roythornes are being approached for advice on whether farm businesses are eligible to claim the Young Farmer payment, one of the top-up payments that is available under the new Direct Payments regime that came into force this year. ...
Julie Robinson
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A Roythornes blog post which gives some crucial points to farmers who need to transfer payment entitlements or have entitlements transferred to them.

Julie Robinson
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We are getting a few queries from our agricultural clients about entitlement transfers and the Defra's October deadline, and in particular about the consequences of not transferring by then. The Q&A below might help. 1. Why is there an October...
Julie Robinson
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Farmers involved in specialist cropping, contract farming, block-cropping or diversification may need to take a step back and consider how things are best structured to ensure compliance with the new Basic Payment Scheme and Greening rules. Diversification...
Phil Cookson
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As you will have seen from our general employment update there are proposals from Vince Cable (Business Secretary) to ban exclusivity clauses in “zero hours contracts”. Whilst zero hours contracts have received a pretty bad press over recent...
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Farms are one of the most dangerous places to work. According to the Health & Safety Executive , while just over 1 in 100 GB workers work in agriculture, the sector accounts for about 1 in 5 fatal injuries to workers. Does the rise in...
Posted in:, Agriculture
Tom Foottit
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The Single Payment Scheme definition of permanent pasture has come under challenge in the EU Court of Justice. The SPS defines permanent pasture as “land used to grow grasses or other herbaceous forage naturally (self-seeded) or through cultivation...
Posted in:TomFoottit, Agriculture
Claire Hindmarsh
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On 6 April 2014 new planning rules come into force which will allow developers to make certain changes of use without the need to jump through the hoops of obtaining full planning permission. Under the new rules, impressively named the Town and County...
Julie Robinson
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Manorial rights are one of the more arcane aspects of land law, but that doesn’t mean they can be ignored, particularly with a Land Registry deadline for their registration looming. What are they?  Before 1926, in addition to freehold land and...
Julie Robinson
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Aside from the introduction of greening measures, one of the most significant changes in the new direct payment regime touches on what constitutes agricultural activity. Under the Single Payment Scheme, agricultural activity was not only producing crops and...
Julie Robinson
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It is always worth checking whether notices from the Land Registry are well founded, particularly if they are about a potential liability for chancel repair.  Ask to see the evidence, do your own research, do not be afraid to challenge the notice if the...
Tom Foottit
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We shared a platform with Savills and Duncan & Toplis yesterday evening, at the impressive Kelham Hall in Nottinghamshire. Below are the notes from one of the talks we gave to the farmers, estate owners and managers that attended. The focus was on...
Posted in:TomFoottit, Agriculture
Julie Robinson
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Since midnight on 12 October, manorial rights have no longer been overriding interests. An overriding interest is an interest in land which binds buyers or owners of land even if it does not appear on the register. In short, midnight on 12 October is not a...
Julie Robinson
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Protecting your land against registration as a town or village green by those opposed to its development has – as from today, 1st October – become a little bit easier in England. It does, however, need action from you as landowner (or...
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We are fast approaching 1st October 2013, a significant date for farming businesses in England that employ agricultural workers. As from 1st October the comprehensive employment framework that has laid down minimum wages and other terms of employment in...
Posted in:, Agriculture
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Tesco has one, law firms have them, but few farm businesses do. Should they? Farms are one of the most dangerous places to work. Whereas, for office-based businesses, social media 'issues' tend to be about using work time for keeping up with news...
Posted in:, Agriculture
Julie Robinson
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It is almost a year since the 'designation of features' elements of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 came into force. The Act itself came out of the Pitt Review that followed the widespread floods of 2007. One of Pitt's recommendations was...
Alan Plummer
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Last month we saw the abolition of the Agricultural Wages Board in England. This month we have seen the demise of the seven agricultural land tribunals in England, specialist bodies known to few outside the farming community. Agricultural land tribunals have...
Phil Cookson
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We have now had formal confirmation that  25 June will mark the end of the Agricultural Wages Board in England. The current Agricultural Wages Order will remain in force until 1 October 2013.  From 1 October employers will be free to engage new...
Phil Cookson
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"The Agricultural Wages Board for England and Wales is abolished." With those ten words section 72 of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 brings to an end almost a hundred years of agricultural wages board history. The first boards were...
Julie Robinson
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EU farm ministers met yesterday morning to discuss the new direct payments regulation. Simon Coveney, the Irish Farm Minister, held a press conference at lunchtime to give an update on progress. (The Irish hold the Presidency of the Council for the first...
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Accepting an invitation to be a trustee is not for the fainthearted. Graham Smith, partner at Roythornes, and acknowledged expert in taxation and trusts, suggests you should think about it at least six times before saying yes! If, having thought about it,...
Posted in:, Agriculture
Tom Foottit
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A few days ago we joined forces with Fisher German's renewables experts to run a seminar for our clients and others with a serious interest in renewable projects. There was certainly no shortage of energy in the room. Far from it, almost everyone who...
Posted in:TomFoottit, Agriculture
Jarred Wright
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Hotly debated and long-awaited, the Upper Tribunal decision in the Pawson case has been published. And it is not good news for the taxpayer. The Tribunal found that the deceased’s holiday bungalow had been held “mainly as an investment”. As...
Julie Robinson
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The Government’s Green Deal is up and running. Householders are able to sign up to finance plans from today, 28 January 2013, as are landlords and tenants in the private rented sector. There is even a first-come, first-served cashback scheme to...
Phil Cookson
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The House of Lords Grand Committee voted on amendment 28ZK to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform bill on 16 January. That was an amendment to the effect that the Agricultural Wages Board for England and Wales should be abolished.  At Grand Committee...
Julie Robinson
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Britain's membership of the EU has been the hot topic over the last few days. It is no coincidence that the Defra Secretary of State, Owen Paterson, took to his keyboard today to answer questions on CAP Reform during a web chat hosted by the Farmers...
Phil Cookson
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We have already blogged twice about the abolition of the AWB. That’s because it matters to our clients, most of whom are in the camp that would welcome the removal of the Board and the opportunity for greater flexibility in employment packages. Some,...
Phil Cookson
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This post follows one we wrote in July , in which we wondered out loud what was holding up the Government's plans to abolish the Agricultural Wages Board. Almost three months on, there has been some movement. The Government has issued a consultation on...
Tom Foottit
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It can be frustratingly difficult to show that an agricultural occupancy restriction on a property is obsolete. A recent decision by the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber)* contains some useful pointers about what a rigorous market testing exercise would look...
Posted in:TomFoottit, Agriculture
Alan Plummer
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If nothing else, there looks like being a bumper crop of contract disputes this year. The difficulties with harvest have been reported on widely (see the BBC's bank holiday coverage ) and the quality - particularly of wheat - is variable. Many grain...
Alan Plummer
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The Tenant Farmers Association have put out a strongly-worded press release about the hard-line approach being taken by the Crown Estate on rents. The full press release is here.  The thrust of the TFA’s message is that the Crown Estate seems to...
Phil Cookson
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Last Friday’s confirmation meeting brings to an end the current round of Agricultural Wages Board deliberations. The increases in hourly rates* will take effect from 1 October this year.  Will this be the last time the parties sit round the table...