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Farm buildings to dwellings

Farm buildings to dwellings...West Country Seminars

A number of very successful of seminars were held by Stags Professional Services across the South West last month, focusing on the recent changes to the Permitted Development Rights. These changes allow the conversion of agricultural buildings to dwellings, which proved a very popular topic.

In Devon Stags held three ‘Farm Succession Seminars’ at Zeal Monachorum, Exeter and Honiton. These were held in conjunction with Simpkins Edwards Accountants and Stones Solicitors, and were all well attended. In addition to this Stags held two Breakfast Seminars for other professionals at Exeter and Wellington. At each seminar Martin Lee, Stags’ planning department, explained the changes to the planning legislation and the criteria that need to be considered in a prior notification application. Other topics covered included an assessment of the potential impact on capital value of the whole farm upon obtaining consent for a conversion, or 3, dependant on their location within the farming unit. The individual building’s value was also covered with a few examples from Stags’ estate agency team and the potential rental value. There was also a brief CAP update on the Basic Payment Scheme.

Jennifer Towill of Stags’ Wellington office says “the changes to Permitted Development Rights are still relatively new and the various Local Planning Authorities are interpreting them differently. We have had a great deal of interest from the farming community and have submitted a number of applications. At the seminars we were able to give some feedback on how the Local Authorities vary in their interpretation of the rules to give a better understanding of the opportunities available. Simpkins Edwards and Stones were able to provide a useful context on the taxation and legal implications to consider.”

In Cornwall, Stags were delighted to join forces with Hodgsons Accountants and Coodes Solicitors for the Launceston and Truro Seminars and Simpkins Edwards Accountants and Peter, Peter and Wright Solicitors for the Holsworthy Seminar.

Jo Maynard, from Stags Professional Services in Cornwall, and Nicola Palfrey used an interesting case study to discuss the practical implications to the farming business of converting a building.

Ben Stephens, Partner of Stags, commented “the Launceston Seminar was the largest Stags have held throughout the year exceeding 140 in attendance! Clearly the three firms are well respected to pull such record crowds. Farmers and landowners certainly benefited from having two local rural surveyors, an accountant and solicitor discussing the rights and their implications. Many took the opportunity to ask questions and a number of follow up appointments were organised.”

For details of Stags’ future events and seminars please contact Stags on 01392 439046 or email: to be put in touch with your local member of Stags’ Professional Services Department in Devon, Somerset, Dorset or Cornwall. For those wishing for advice on their individual situation please contact your local Stags office or the above number and this can be arranged.