Keep up to date with the latest Stags news.

Stags strengthen Professional Services department with appointment of Senior Surveyor Matthew Wilcox

Wed 28 April 2021

Stags have strengthened their Professional Services department through the appointment of Matthew Wilcox BSc (Hons) MRICS as Senior Surveyor. Matthew will be based in the Tiverton office and brings with him a wealth of experience in various rural professional matters and estate management. Read More

Changes to Countryside Stewardship and BPS explained

Tue 20 April 2021

With the 17th May deadline for Basic Payment Scheme applications fast approaching, there are some changes to the 2021 scheme due to the UKs exit from the EU, that applicants should be aware of. Read More

Planning for the future of agricultural payments

Tue 23 February 2021

Key dates and updates in relation to the future of agricultural payments. Read More

Countryside Stewardship Scheme - COVID-19 Exceptions Process

Tue 7 July 2020

The CAAV have announced that the RPA are introducing a COVID-19 Exceptions Process meaning applications for the CSS mid-tier scheme can be submitted up to 31st August 2020 provided that the RPA are given prior notification that the application is not going to be submitted by the 31st July 2020 deadline due to COVID-19 related issues. Read More

Planning appeal success...overturn of local Council's refusal to grant permission

Tue 7 July 2020

In a recent planning appeal, Stags has recently successfully overturned Mid Devon District Council’s refusal to grant permission for residential development of up to 20 dwellings, and have secured a partial award of costs against the Council. Read More

Inheritance Tax relief and Grazing Agreements

Thu 2 July 2020

The recent case of Charnley and another v HMRC [2019] ruled in favour of a farmer’s estate seeking to claim Agricultural Property Relief (APR) and Business Property Relief (BPR), where the majority of land was let under annual grazing agreements. The case, which went to appeal at the First Tier Tribunal in 2019, is very relevant to farmers whose land is used by third parties for grazing. Read More

Professional Valuations...carried out safely

Wed 17 June 2020

We are receiving a high volume on enquiries asking: 'Are you now able to carry out on site professional valuations?' Read More

Do you farm or own land under the Broadclyst to Hawkchurch Pylon Line?

Tue 2 June 2020

The countryside is crossed with electricity pylons, cables and associated infrastructure, not least by National Grid’s transmission network which provides for homes and businesses nationwide. Read More

'Fall back' Success for Stags

Fri 15 May 2020

Amongst all the uncertainty that surrounds us today Stags have recently received planning permission for four new dwellings to replace a range of barns which previously benefitted from Class P prior approval for a change of use from commercial to residential. Read More

Putting a price on woodland

Fri 1 May 2020

Historically, the potential value of woodland was often dismissed as unprofitable when compared with bare land for conventional cropping. Read More

Extension to BPS deadline announced

Tue 28 April 2020

The Government have confirmed an extension to the Basic Payment Scheme deadline. See below an excerpt from the official press release; Read More

Funding for woodland: your options

Thu 27 February 2020

Emily Woodruff of Stags Professional Services discusses your options when it comes to funding for woodland creation. Read More

Rights over land and compensation

Mon 24 February 2020

Alex Rew of Stags Professional Services offers advice to anyone approached by companies requiring access over their private land. Read More

Planning: what is fall back and how can it benefit you?

Mon 24 February 2020

Alister Smith of Stags Planning department discusses the benefits of using a fall-back argument when it comes to planning applications. Read More

2020 Countryside Stewardship application window now open

Thu 20 February 2020

The Countryside Stewardship application window is now open, meaning applications can now be submitted for Mid-Tier, Higher-Tier, the four Wildlife Offers (Arable, Lowland Grazing, Upland and Mixed Farming) and the Hedgerows and Boundaries Capital Grant. Read More

Basic Payment Scheme 2020 update

Thu 20 February 2020

The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) has announced that the Basic Payment Scheme 2020 application window will open on 12 March, giving landowners nine weeks to submit their applications by the 15 May deadline.  Read More

Stags launches new Architectural Services division

Thu 9 January 2020

Stags Professional Services department is excited to announce the launch of its new Architectural division, which will be headed up by Nathaniel Morris. Read More

Grant funding for business development now available 

Mon 9 December 2019

The Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) Growth Programme is once again encouraging applications for substantial capital grants towards projects that will create jobs and bring money into the rural economy. Read More

BPS 2019 payments

Wed 4 December 2019

The BPS payment window is now open; find out how this year's rates differ from those of 2018. Read More

Inheritance Tax: the importance of formal valuations

Mon 2 December 2019

Toby Perry MRICS of Stags Professional Services department in Exeter outlines the importance of formal valuations against market appraisals when it comes to tax planning. Read More

Non-domestic rates chargeable on private stables

Thu 21 November 2019

Mark Neason MRICS FAAV of Stags Professional Services in Somerset discusses the matter of tax when it comes to equine facilities.  Read More

Agricultural development: does size really matter?

Mon 28 October 2019

Guy Wilson MRICS FAAV of Stags Professional Services department outlines the implications of the 2018 Town and Country Planning Order. Read More

Hedgerow and Boundary Grant success

Mon 9 September 2019

Sally Blowey of Stags Professional Services department discusses a recent Hedgerow and Boundary Grant success in West Devon. Read More

Large Scale Solar Panel Sites

Thu 29 August 2019

Mark Neason of Stags Professional Services department discusses the increasingly popular diversification option of solar panel sites. Read More

Last chance to apply for Round 2 of the Small Grant Scheme

Wed 21 August 2019

Hurry, time is running out for Round 2 of the Countryside Productivity Small Grant Scheme. Read More

Small Grant Scheme: Round 2

Sun 14 July 2019

Don't miss your chance to obtain 40% funding for agricultural equipment with Round 2 of the Small Grant Scheme. Read More

Grant funding: will the grass be greener post-Brexit?

Tue 11 June 2019

Rural Surveyor Guy Wilson explores the prospects for grant funding and stewardship both present and future. Read More

Preparing probate valuations: what you should know

Mon 3 June 2019

Andrew Lawes, Head of Stags Professional Services in Cornwall, outlines key issues when preparing probate valuations. Read More

Pressure on mobile phone mast rents

Thu 23 May 2019

Tim Yonge of Michelmore Stags in Totnes discusses new 'Code Rights' for telecom operators. Read More

Market appraisals vs formal valuations: the basics

Thu 9 May 2019

Alex Rew outlines the key differences between market appraisals and formal valuations. Read More

March: the month of agricultural rent reviews

Mon 4 March 2019

Mark Neason MRICS FAAV of Stags Professional Services offers his advice about the rent review process and arbitration to landlords and tenants. Read More

Five things you need to know about breaches of planning control

Mon 4 March 2019

Oliver Thorogood of Stags Planning Department outlines your need-to-know guide to what to do if you find that your property is in breach of planning control. Read More

Compulsory purchase: how much compensation are farmers and landowners entitled to?

Thu 21 February 2019

Lydia Cox raises the issue of rural infrastructure and offers her advice on how much compensation farmers and landowners might be entitled to. Read More

How can Stags Professional Services help to resolve disputes?

Sun 13 January 2019

Mark Neason MRICS FAAV of Stags Professional Services outlines how Stags can help you resolve disputes. Read More

Brexit and your estate: what does 2019 hold for estate owners and land managers?

Thu 29 November 2018

Senior Surveyor Lydia Cox MRICS FAAV and Estate Management Consultant Nick Millard MRICS FAAV REV of Michelmore Hughes Stags discuss why now is the time for South West estate owners and land managers to prepare for the future. Read More

Revised National Planning Policy Framework 2018: Delivering housing growth in rural areas

Wed 1 August 2018

Following the release of the new National Planning Policy Framework last month, Stags Head of Planning Alister King Smith discusses how these changes could affect your development. Read More

North Devon Link Road improvements: are you affected?

Tue 5 June 2018

As the Government approves funding for improvements to the North Devon Link Road, now is the time to ensure you are properly represented to claim the compensation you are entitled to. Read More

Barn conversions set to become easier and more profitable

Wed 21 March 2018

A new Government rule allowing more agricultural building development will see barn conversions becoming easier and more profitable, explains Stags Head of Planning, Alister Smith. Read More

Countryside Stewardship and other grants

Wed 28 February 2018

Sally Blowey, Chartered Surveyor with Stags, discusses Countryside Stewardship and other grants. Read More

Rural planning: a help or a hindrance to economic growth?

Mon 12 February 2018

Stags Head of Planning Services, Alister King-Smith, discusses whether the current UK rural planning system is helping or hindering economic growth in the countryside. Read More

Countryside Stewardship 2018 open for applicants

Mon 22 January 2018

The window for Countryside Stewardship applications is now open and Stags Professional Services department is here to help guide you through the process. Read More

How to make the most of outbuildings

Fri 8 December 2017

Surplus farm buildings gathering dust? Maximise their potential with these profitable ideas from Jenny Cox of Stags Professional Services. Read More

How can a Stags Expert Witness help settle your property dispute?

Wed 29 November 2017

Stags Professional Services team can assist with partnership dissolution, matrimonial proceedings, dilapidations and much more. Read More

A chance to diversify within National Parks and AONBs?

Fri 15 September 2017

Stags Planning Assistant, Guy Horswell, advises on a possible alternative to Class Q regulations, allowing the change of use of agricultural buildings. Read More

Making the most of Permitted Development Rights

Wed 19 July 2017

Are you a landowner looking to generate extra income from old farm buildings? This article will help you get to grips with agricultural development rights. Read More

Who can benefit from new Permitted Development Rights?

Wed 12 July 2017

Last year new Permitted Development Rights were introduced, but who could benefit from these and how? Read More

Planning Application Fee Increase

Wed 17 May 2017

Alister King-Smith sheds light on changes to local authority planning charges. Read More

Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings (ATED)

Wed 15 March 2017

ATED is an annual tax payable on residential properties held by Companies or Partnerships valued at more than £500,000. Read More

New PDR could allow five new dwellings from a barn

Tue 14 March 2017

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) is reported to be consulting on the introduction of a new agricultural-to-residential permitted development right (PDR) which would allow conversion of a farm building of up to 750m2, for a maximum of five new dwellings, each with a floorspace of 150m2. Read More

Act now! New charge in Mid Devon will impact on new rural workers' dwellings

Tue 31 January 2017

Mid Devon District Council is consulting on proposed Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) charge until the 14 February 2017. CIL is a charge put on a range of new developments to help meet the costs of related infrastructure. Read More

£120 million rural growth programme extended

Fri 27 January 2017

The government has published details of how another round of grant funding, designed to help projects that will create jobs and generate money for rural areas, will work. Read More

Greater Exeter councils to work together on future planning policy

Fri 20 January 2017

In a departure from tradition, when planning policies were largely developed in isolation, four councils in the Greater Exeter area are in the process of finalising an agreement that will see them work together for the first time. Read More

Stags complete another successful seminar season

Thu 15 December 2016

Stags Professional Services held a range of successful seminars in 2016 in conjunction with some of the South West’s best-regarded solicitors, accountants and bankers. Read More

Landowners face prospect of lower rents from telcos

Tue 13 December 2016

The government is proposing reform of the Electronic Communications Code, some 30 years after it first made its way onto the statute books. Read More

New partner, retiring partner, returning team member and exam success

Fri 9 December 2016

The partners at Stags have announced that they have added to their ranks, with the appointment of George Alder as full equity partner from 1 January 2017. Read More

Free planning advice

Sun 16 October 2016

Simplifying the planning system has been an objective of successive governments, and each year there are claims from Whitehall that progress is being made. Some might agree that there has been a degree of success: around 88% of all planning applications are now approved compared with around 85% at the start of the decade. However, for all but the most basic of planning applications, the system is often far from simple. Read More

New fodder sales to be run as winter looms

Wed 12 October 2016

Following a run of successful fodder auctions in Exeter last Winter, Stags will be organising further new sales in South Molton and Honiton beginning January 2017. Read More

Banks keen to lend to the agricultural sector

Tue 11 October 2016

Despite BREXIT uncertainty and continuing pressure on farming incomes, banks are keen to lend to the agricultural sector, writes Toby Perry, Rural Practice Surveyor at Stags Professional Services Read More

Tidal power: the FRANCE - ALDERNEY - BRITAIN (FAB) link takes a step closer to reality

Mon 10 October 2016

A major international project that will see tidal-generated electricity flowing between the Channel Islands and the UK and France has taken a step closer to reality, with a route having finally been decided and construction scheduled to commence in 2018. Read More

Plan for CGT Rate on Residential Sales

Tue 13 September 2016

The 2016 Budget earlier in the year announced significant changes to the Capital Gains Tax regime for individuals, partnerships and trusts. Read More

Last chance for EU funding

Tue 12 July 2016

Stags Rural Professional Department can offer advice and assistance with applications and all aspects of a variety of schemes. Read More

Compulsory Purchase - get what you are entitled to!

Tue 5 July 2016

At Stags, our Professional Services Team deals with many claims on behalf of our clients which may arise from a variety of utilities works. Read More

Positive Court Ruling for Small Scale Housing Development

Sun 3 July 2016

Alister King-Smith reports on how a Court of Appeal Ruling brings good news on affordable housing for owners and developers of smaller housing sites. Read More

Compulsory Purchase & Compensation

Wed 8 June 2016

Compulsory Purchase and Compensation are you getting what you are entitled to? Read More

Don't forget the Planning Basics

Tue 22 March 2016

Major changes to the Planning System have been a ‘hot topic’ for the last few years, however the core principles of the system should not be overlooked. Read More

Basic Payment Scheme 2016

Mon 8 February 2016

As spring feels closer by the day, so does the annual deadline for the submission of Basic Payment Scheme application forms and trading of entitlements. This year the deadline for submissions will be Monday 16 May. Read More

Qualification Success!

Tue 15 December 2015

Stags are pleased to announce that Nicola Palfrey of the Launceston Office has qualified as an Agricultural Valuer and is now a Fellow of the Association of Agricultural Valuers. Read More

BPS Payment Window Officially Open!

Fri 4 December 2015

Approximately 38% of all BPS applicants have now received their first BPS subsidy payment this week, with further payment tranches intended later this month. Whilst this is a pleasant surprise for those who have been paid, we advise applicants who have not yet received their remittance advice or payment to be patient and not to panic. Read More

Non Agricultural Lettings on farms and written agreements

Mon 30 November 2015

Mark Neason of Stags Professional Services discusses potential pitfalls. The significance of allowing non-farming businesses to occupy farm buildings has recently been highlighted in the case of a family who has been assisted by Stags Professional Services. Read More

Changes to the Model Repair Clauses for Agricultural Tenancies

Wed 14 October 2015

From the 1st October 2015 changes were introduced to the standard repairing liabilities for landlords and tenants in agricultural tenancies, particularly affecting AHA tenancies, but some FBTs may be affected too. Read More

New rural grant funding now available

Tue 13 October 2015

Two new capital grant schemes for farmers and rural landowners are now open under the Rural Development Programme for England. The new LEADER and Growth Programme schemes offer capital grant funding for rural businesses to provide education and training, renewable energy projects, tourism facilities and business startup and expansion. Read More

Basic Payment Scheme Progress Report

Sun 11 October 2015

Following the flurry of activity leading up to 15th June, the RPA are steadily processing BP5 applications, entitlement transfers and land amendment forms, reports Lizzie Burton, newly appointed Head of Professional Services at Stags Exeter office. “We are advised that 90% of land amendments have now been completed in the UK, but less than 5% of our entitlement transfer requests have yet been completed. This may be because transferees must be confirmed as being ‘active farmers’ before the transfer can be completed. The transferee’s BP5 form will therefore need to be processed before the entitlements can be transferred”. Read More

Government use Rural Productivity Plan to announce review of residential conversion threshold for agricultural buildings

Tue 22 September 2015

Martin Lee, Stags Chartered Town & Country Planning Consultant says “In a world of ever changing alliances and priorities it is noteworthy that the Chancellor, George Osborne, appears to be pressing ahead with ongoing reforms intended to boost the economy of rural areas and particularly the delivery of new housing. Read More

Stags Professional Team expands

Wed 16 September 2015

Stags are delighted to announce the arrival of Lizzie Burton MSc MRICS FAAV to the fold. Lizzie joins Stags as head of professional services at our Exeter branch having been head of Kivells’ rural professional and property department at Exeter Livestock Centre for the last three years. Read More

Saving costs with solar

Tue 12 May 2015

With margins becoming increasingly tight, and profits being driven down by both increasing costs and decreasing outputs, there are potential opportunities in the renewables sector to help make your business more efficient. Read More

PDR - Further Government Guidance

Fri 13 March 2015

Following the post code lottery created by different Local Authority's interpretations of the regulations governing permitted rights to convert farm buildings into dwellings, the Government Read More

Act now to prepare for the Basic Payment Scheme

Tue 17 February 2015

The latest reports from the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) indicate only 22,500 of an expected 100,000 farmers have registered online for the new Basic Payment Scheme (BPS). Read More

Rural Payments Online - early results

Thu 22 January 2015

Stags Professional Services have now begun registering clients on the new Rural Payments online system and can share their experience of the process. Read More

Matt Brown joins Stags Professional Services team

Thu 8 January 2015

Stags Professional Services have appointed a new rural professional to join their team. Matt Brown, 25, is a fully qualified Chartered Surveyor and Agricultural Valuer who will be based in Stags’ Launceston and Truro Offices. Read More

Farm buildings to dwellings

Thu 11 December 2014

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. Read More

Countryside Stewardship 2016

Thu 11 December 2014

Details of the shape of the new Countryside Stewardship Scheme which will replace the current environmental and woodland grant schemes under the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy have been announced by DEFRA. Read More

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