Changes on the cards for agricultural tenancies

by Edward Page, Associate Director, Davis Meade Property Consultants

THE UK Agricultural Bill includes amendments to the Agricultural

Holdings Act 1 9 8 6 where it will remove the commercial unit

occupation test and amend the

Test of Suitability relating to the succession of these protected Farm Tenancies.

Welsh Government policy is focused on improving

farming productivity by encouraging the

transfer of land into the hands of skilled

commercial farmers. The

Tenancy Reform Industrial

Group has consulted with

the Welsh Government,

as well as Defra in

England, and the UK bill sets out a path to significant reform of this historic tenancy legislation.

A point of direct conflict with current Welsh land management policy is the commercial unit test which prohibits a successor’s application if he or she is an occupier of an agricultural unit of land. The UK Agricultural Bill repeals the sections of the Law relating to this test.

The separate Test of Suitability is a section due to be amended. It currently states that The Tribunal will take into account “…all relevant matters” including the applicant’s age, experience, training, health and financial standing”.

The Test of Suitability will include new criteria to be set out in regulations by the Welsh Ministers. These prescriptions will evolve over time but will test business acumen, with the Bill criteria requiring, “the successor’s capacity to farm the holding commercially to high standards of efficient production and care for the environment”.

The tenancy reform consultation identified that removing the minimum age of 6 5 for a retiring farmer would allow holdings to be passed on sooner, unlocking potential productivity improvements. This amendment proposal has made its way into the Bill.

The UK Agriculture Bill is in the House of Lords for its second reading and we anticipate Royal Assent by the end of 2 0 2 0 . We expect further wider ranging considerations for the rights of Welsh Tenant farmers to be part of the Agriculture (Wales) Bill, the same piece of legislation that will set out the transition from Basic Payment Scheme in Wales.

If you are planning an Agricultural Tenancy succession then please do contact Davis Meade for professional advice in this changing environment. You can view our guidance note on succession on our website

EdwardPage,MRICS,canbecontactedon07496 914731 email

Mae Bil Amaethyddiaeth y DU yn cynnwys diwyg iadau i Ddeddf Daliad au Amaethyd d ol 1986 lle byd d yn d ileu’r prawf med d iannaeth uned au masnachol ac yn d iwyg io’r Prawf Ad d asrwyd d sy’n ymwneud ag olyniaeth y Tenantiaethau Fferm warchodedig hyn.MaepolisiLlywodraethCymruyn

canolbwyntio ar wella cynhyrchiant ffermio trwy annog trosg lwyd d o tir i d d wylo ffermwyr masnachol med rus. Mae’r Grŵp Diwyd iannol Diwyg io Tenantiaeth wed i ymg yng hori â Llywod raeth Cymru, yn og ystal â Defra yn Lloeg r, ac mae bil y DU yn anelu at d d iwyg io’r d d ed d fwriaeth tenantiaeth hanesyd d ol hon yn sylwed d ol. Os yd ych chi’n cynllunio olyniaeth Tenantiaeth Amaethyd d ol yna cysylltwch â Davis Mead e i g ael cyng or proffesiynol yn ystod y cyfnod cyfnewid iol hwn. Ewch i’n g wefan www.d er mwyn d arllen ein Nod iad au Cyfarwyd d yd

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