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Author Topic: Tiny strip of agricultural land intersecting curtilage (plus building a bridge)  (Read 2703 times)

swuk

  • Joined Oct 2020
First post here, but struggling to find any guidelines or experience with this particular anomaly.

A property we have specific interest in has an odd division in the curtilage (likely due to the entire farm being split up and sold individually). The farm house sits on one side of a narrow stream, with a large 4 acre agricultural plot (grade 4, pastoral) on the other side that we intend to use as-is.

The oddity is that the curtilage of the property has a 0.15 acre slice of agricultural land intersecting the 'garden'.  I've attached a crude map that illustrates this. It is currently cut down and maintained as a lawn (just by a caretaker as the property is vacant) but the survey data explicitly shows it as agricultural with garden either side. It's not fenced off from the 'garden' land either side in any way and is adjacent and open directly onto a road, and to access the tiny corner slice of the garden you need to cross the agricultural strip.

I cannot reasonably see of what use this could be due to its small size and proximity to the neighbour on the other side of the single-track road. Is this something we could just absorb into the garden either side without any realistic issue? Would a change of use in this instance actually be accepted due to the unfeasiblity of the land?

We also intend to restore the listed brick boundary walls around the property, which would potentially envelop this slice of land unless we left an awkward gap front and back for fencing. We keep dogs and the neighbours are required to keep sheep in a large multi-acre paddock on the other side of the road. For their benefit we would want to screen the entire front left side of our property with something to avoid either animal having visiblity of the other and potentially disturbing them.

Something else I thought I might add - we also need to build a footbridge over the steam at the back to access the primary field as the original access has been eroded away under several feet of flowing water and is only accessible by a separate private plot anyway. What difficulties could we expect with planning for this and what type of bridge would be acceptable? The garden is walled and gated at the rear and the field will be fenced with C7/10/15 and gated.

Many thanks in advance for any advice.

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Possibly a ransom strip or a potential building plot, if it has access to a road/driveway. Certainly would get my solicitor to check out if any planning has ever been submitted (even if turned down).


I don't know anything about building bridges at all...

arobwk

  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow: despoiled in summer and villages left half-empty in winter.
Sounds like it's probably not worth the effort !!  If you really keen though, then you really should heed Anke's advice I reckon and get a solicitor to check out any legal/planning limitations. 


(Of course, one could try a "Do I need planning permission" application for what you intend to do as a starter - 80 or so Council Planning fee. )
« Last Edit: October 27, 2020, 09:12:20 pm by arobwk »

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Would it have been the route in and out of the 4ac from the road?  So classed as agri not garden as used by livestock?

In terms of bridges, I know nothing about planning of same, but I do know that what one thinks makes sense in terms of footings, span, height and strength can be woefully underestimated if you've never seen the water in spate...  So get a local who knows the water and ground to help plan it! 

(Oh, and getting livestock to cross a bridge can be a problem...)

Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

swuk

  • Joined Oct 2020
Possibly a ransom strip or a potential building plot, if it has access to a road/driveway. Certainly would get my solicitor to check out if any planning has ever been submitted (even if turned down).

That's a good point, I do need to look into previous planning applications for the main house anyway as there's a few oddities there as well.

Would it have been the route in and out of the 4ac from the road?  So classed as agri not garden as used by livestock?

That's what is weird about it, it has no access to the 4ac plot due to the stream and the grass is flush with the road (no curb), slap bang in the middle of the garden. It's actually walled off from the 4ac on the stream side by part of the listed brick wall that cannot be removed even if we wanted to connect it up.

I just want to be very cautious that a) we don't draw attention to it if no one is ever going to notice it, but also b) we don't end up having to tear down an expensive conservation-office-approved extension to a listed brick wall.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Either make it a condition of sale that this issue is sorted before you buy, or buy somewhere else. Hoping that no-one will notice is never going to work!
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
    • ABERDON GUNDOGS for work and show
    • Facebook
Have you contacted your solicitor yet about buying this property?  If not then that is the first step. They should do preliminary investigations now, and more thoruogh ones before any offer is made.
I agree with others, if your solicitor isn't able to work things out reasobnably easily, walk away. Just spending large sums of money before that would be extremely stupid
« Last Edit: October 28, 2020, 10:22:53 am by doganjo »
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
If it has been on the market for a while and/or is cheaper than you expect - in the current climate - then most likely that others also spotted this and walked away...

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
As far as the bridge is concerned - we had to build one over a dyke/stream in order to construct a separate access and had to consult the local drainage board for specifications.



Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

swuk

  • Joined Oct 2020
Have you contacted your solicitor yet about buying this property?  If not then that is the first step. They should do preliminary investigations now, and more thoruogh ones before any offer is made.
I agree with others, if your solicitor isn't able to work things out reasobnably easily, walk away. Just spending large sums of money before that would be extremely stupid

There's understandably a loooot of business for surveyors and solicitors at the moment, so we have a bit of lead time on anything submitted - was hoping I might get lucky and find someone who'd had a similar experience before we sit back and twiddle our thumbs for a few weeks waiting for all the investigations to be done. Looks like that'll be the way it goes though.

If it has been on the market for a while and/or is cheaper than you expect - in the current climate - then most likely that others also spotted this and walked away...

Possibly - although there is a whole bunch of rusted cattle and hay barns bordering the house, and the literal island of pastoral land being inaccessible on the other side of the stream have me hoping that they are the issue and not anything else funny. Got a good month+ of speculating before the surveyor can get down there though...

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Are the sheds and barns part of the sale?  Are the roofs asbestos?  That costs a fortune to get removed (and is  a health hazard if you do or if you don't), so that would certainly put a lot of folks off.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

arobwk

  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow: despoiled in summer and villages left half-empty in winter.
Have you checked your Planning Dept's online planning database yet @swuk
Since you obviously have details of the property, it will (should) tell you the planning history of the property going back a good many years.

Even pre-electronic era PAs can be retrieved directly from any Council archives for a fee.
Also, what have the vendor's agent told you about this seemingly odd circumstance (agri' land classification in middle of a garden) ?? 
Also have you spoken to present owners directly about this rather than via agents ??
« Last Edit: November 02, 2020, 11:24:20 pm by arobwk »

swuk

  • Joined Oct 2020
Are the sheds and barns part of the sale?  Are the roofs asbestos?  That costs a fortune to get removed (and is  a health hazard if you do or if you don't), so that would certainly put a lot of folks off.

They can be but we don't want them right now, we may agree on a fixed term lease to protect the land but the liability is a concern.

Have you checked your Planning Dept's online planning database yet @swuk
Since you obviously have details of the property, it will (should) tell you the planning history of the property going back a good many years.

Even pre-electronic era PAs can be retrieved directly from any Council archives for a fee.
Also, what have the vendor's agent told you about this seemingly odd circumstance (agri' land classification in middle of a garden) ?? 
Also have you spoken to present owners directly about this rather than via agents ??


We're waiting to hear back from the surveyor regarding the land. Unfortuantely digging into the planning history was completely fruitless - there's been nothing submitted for almost 30 years! This has me a little suspicious as I am certain there are features / changes that are newer than three decades and these should be listed for Listed Building Consent. It's just a waiting game with the surveyor and solicitor now.

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
    • ABERDON GUNDOGS for work and show
    • Facebook
With all these apparent anomalies and queries I'm not sure I would progress with this. :innocent:

Does it have massive advantages that outweigh these?

Are you buying or leasing?

I wouldn't buy ir personally :coat:

If leasing make sure you have an exit strategy if you decide to go ahead
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
With all these apparent anomalies and queries I'm not sure I would progress with this. :innocent:

Does it have massive advantages that outweigh these?

Are you buying or leasing?

I wouldn't buy ir personally :coat:

If leasing make sure you have an exit strategy if you decide to go ahead


I see the possible drawbacks in a completely different light. They are a chance to bargain and to get something that appeals to you at the right price. I find that as you go through life there are all sorts of opportunities presented. Some people can only see the  drawbacks so walk away and then regret it when they see what someone more positive has made of the opportunity. Others see the opportunity while still considering potential problems, and after weighing up the pros and cons decide to give it a go anyway. I'm one of the latter. I have bought several amazing bits of land that had been written off by others with no vision.
I've been told I paid over the odds for a piece of contaminated land. It wasn't as it happened, but nobody had researched it properly. I sold it on for 3x what I paid for it.
I bought 8 acres of scrub land at auction for 2x the guide price. My son asked me what I saw in it. I said I just knew it had potential. As grazing land, because it's sandy the grass burns off in a dry summer. But in a wet summer it's great and it's somewhere where I can now winter my cattle without it getting boggy, and I save a fortune on straw for bedding. But best of all, and unexpectantly, we found out that a one acre compound it has has planning permission for industrial use. We've put some units on to let out and get far more income from that 1 acre than the rest of the farm together.
So basically what I'm saying swuk is that you need to weigh up the pros and cons and what it's worth to you. Consider the worst that can go wrong and take that into account but remember - it might not happen.
As far as the agricultural land is concerned, I don't fully understand why this is a problem although I do know the difference between agricultural land and garden. As it is already being mown as a lawn then I would assume that because you have seen the deeds that you are likely to be the only people that know (or care) that it is technically agricultural. If you were to carry on treating it as garden for 4 years then you can apply for a certificate of lawfulness to have it included in your curtilage. It would only be a problem if anyone complained - and why would they? I myself bought an extra quarter of an acre of land to add to my garden. I have used it as garden for the last 25 years although technically it's agricultural. But no one is bothered because it affects no one else.
I personally would go for it. What's the worst that could happen?   
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

 

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