By Thackray Williams Solicitors. 

Whether you are purchasing land for future farming or buying a residential property which comes with an additional parcel of agricultural land, it is essential that you seek specialist advice from an experienced property lawyer.

Dealing with agricultural land can be complex and whilst the conveyancing process, to a certain extent, will be no different from other property transactions, there are a fair number of further issues that will need to be taken into account.

These will typically include:

  • Whether farming subsidies have been received in respect of the land and the transfer of the benefit of those, where applicable, to the Buyer;
  • The supply of water and water abstraction licences;
  • Drainage arrangements;
  • Environmental risks;
  • The ownership and correct position of boundaries;
  • Access rights to and from the highway including the rights of others to use the land for access;
  • Sporting or fishing rights;
  • Careful consideration of any residential or agricultural tenancies, especially with farmed land and the obligations to and rights of any employees;
  • Planning restrictions on residential properties tying their use to occupation to those involved with farming;
  • Public and private rights of way crossing the land; and
  • The existence of any common land.

Where land has the potential for future development, the use of an Overage Agreement is common. This will require that additional money is to be paid to the Seller if planning permission is gained for the development of the land at some point in the near, or sometimes, distant future. Careful advice on the wording of such agreements is essential in view of the long term effect they will have on both the seller, the buyer and the value of the land.

Provided such matters are considered promptly and handled correctly, delays and difficulties at a later date can be avoided.