Generally, I assist farmers in getting planning permission for new farm buildings and houses on their land, but occasionally I am asked to help remove an Agricultural Occupation Clause (AOC) from a house on their property. I have recently assisted two ex-farmers do this on two separate properties, that just happen to be in the same village. The second one heard I had been successful on the first one, so they then instructed me.
It takes careful preparation of the case and careful treatment of all involved, but in the right circumstances, it can be done, and the effect of the AOC can be removed.
Usually, such an application requires good proof that a house has been occupied in contravention of the AOC for a minimum of ten years. As a rule, this has not been done deliberately by the applicants. It is just that their circumstances have changed, or the farming business has ceased trading, and no one realised the effect on the farm dwelling.
This was the case for both these applicants. Both had been living in their houses in contravention of the AOC for more than 20 years. But as it happens, removal of the AOC will have increased the value of their properties by perhaps 40%. And it will have allowed them to live in their houses legally, which they were not doing beforehand!
If you have a planning issue on your land that you wish to discuss, contact Charles at email@example.com or your local FCG Office.