Housing for the Future

Succession planning is always a worthwhile discussion to have, however it often gets so far before the problem of housing arises. It is often the case that the father is happy and wishes to stay in the main farmhouse, leaving the next generation nowhere appropriate to live on site.

Law states that a retiring farmer should not be expected the vacate their home to make way for the next generation, however planning authorities make it difficult to obtain planning to build a new dwelling if the essential need for a worker to live at or near their workplace cannot be met. In some cases, permitted development rights can be obtained for conversions, but if not, then obtaining planning for a new build can prove very difficult. There is also the problem of resistance from the local planning, as well as the community, for the second dwelling because the conclusion is made that the current dwelling is suitable enough to meet the business needs.

It is welcome news that a National Planning Policy (NPPF) has been announced setting out plans for targeting this problem. In addition to supporting dwellings to enable the succession of agricultural businesses, the NPPF also supports the notion that existing dwellings can be converted into multiple homes. The policy also maintains its stance on the residential conversion of redundant or disused buildings where development would enhance the immediate setting.

The content of this article is for general information only and does not constitute tax advice. It should not be relied upon and action which could affect your business should not be taken without appropriate professional advice.

Written by Ellie Hammett ACCA

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