How landowners can avoid being tied down by an Agricultural Occupancy Condition

An agricultural occupancy condition (AOC) is a restriction imposed on the use of a dwelling by a local planning authority (LPA) which limits the class of persons who can occupy the dwelling without breaching planning control. Generally, this restricts occupation to those employed or last employed in agriculture, and their dependants.

But what if the owner of the dwelling wants to remove the AOC – for example for commercial or personal reasons – in order to widen the class of people who might occupy or even buy the property? Or what if the AOC no longer fulfils a useful purpose, particularly in the case of smaller holdings or those that have reduced in size or where dwellings no longer form part of agricultural holdings?

Thrings partner and rural planning specialist Alex Madden, who advises farmers, landowners and developers on a range of development proposals, talks to Farmers Weekly about AOCs, working with LPAs and the criteria landowners need to meet in order to have the AOC removed.

Click here to read Alex’s comments in Farmers Weekly.

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