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Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd v Williams and Waistell Japanese knotweed - who is liable and for how much?

Michelle Moore
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The Court of Appeal has recently handed down a decision regarding the encroachment of Japanese knotweed onto Mr Williams’ and Mr Waistell’s bungalows from a Network Rail track.  Japanese knotweed costs the UK annually between £160m...

De-linked payments, the agricultural transition and planning for uncertainty

Julie Robinson
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In the absence of further clarity from Defra, land purchases and other transactions involving the restructuring of farm businesses will inevitably be dogged by uncertainty about the basis for de-linked payments. Our Head of Agriculture, Julie Robinson,...

Promises, promises...and the family farm

Julie Robinson
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Promising your farm to one of your children is fine as long as you find a way to deliver. In this blog, we take a look at some recent “proprietary estoppel” cases where the courts have upheld claims to the family farm. There are few areas of...

Grain contracts and force majeure

Julie Robinson
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In difficult years we are asked about the options available to farmers who cannot fulfil the deliveries they have agreed in forward grain contracts. Below we take a look at the provisions of the Agricultural Industries Confederation Ltd (AIC) 1/16 home grown...

Potato supply contracts, drought and force majeure

Julie Robinson
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The prolonged period of exceptionally hot, dry weather following a wet spring means that some potato growers will struggle to fulfil forward supply contracts. Force majeure clauses may offer some relief but will need to be checked carefully and appropriate...

Walk this way - a landowner's guide

Sarah Whitehurst
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Although you might consider walkers being allowed to cross your land to be a minor irritation, visitors to your area are a source of income and are not to be sniffed at.  Generally, the type of person who walks for enjoyment is also the type who would...

On-farm flood defences - two recent cases

Julie Robinson
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Two 2017 cases are useful reminders of the limits to farmers’ freedom of movement when it comes to the building of flood defences on their land. In one case we see that  land ownership does not give you the right to refuse entry for approved...

Letting to a farm worker- what do I need to know?

Sarah Whitehurst
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We are still seeing examples of employers failing to serve the correct documentation before handing over the keys of a cottage to new farm workers. They think they are granting an assured shorthold tenancy (AST) and that they will be able to recover...

Tenancy reform

Julie Robinson
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The Tenancy Reform Industry Group (TRIG) has been meeting over the last few months to develop recommendations for changes that relate to both Agricultural Holdings Act (AHA) tenancies and farm business tenancies (FBTs). The Group picked up on themes from...

Countryside Stewardship and Brexit - Treasury announcement

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...

Brexit and Basic Payment Scheme Mark 2

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...

Getting farm partnerships right

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,...

Agricultural Wages (Wales) Order 2016

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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 Order...

Farm succession. A not so simple affair.

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...

Young Farmer payment. Check your eligibility.

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. ...

Act Now on Basic Payments

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.

Payment Entitlement Transfers and the October deadline

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...

Planning for the Basic Payment Scheme and Greening

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...

Exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts - agriculture

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...

Safety on farm: should you have a social media policy?

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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...

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