Rural Estates Newsletter Spring 2021 - Flipbook - Page 4
1 – News in brief
Fire and ice – Spring budget
Personal taxes were largely frozen in the March budget, but rural businesses may benefit
from a range of incentives and reliefs which the Chancellor hopes will help ignite the
economy. Front runners include the extension of the VAT reduction for the hospitality
sector, the ‘super-deduction’ rate for capital allowances and an increased ability to carry
back trading losses. Click here for our budget summary.
Carry on camping
In anticipation of a large increase in English ‘staycations’ this Summer the Government
has relaxed planning regulations, until the end of the year, to allow temporary campsites
for 56 days instead of the usual 28. Might this make a campsite on estate land financially
attractive? Little capital input will be needed but a local authority site licence might
be required, individual circumstances may mean permitted development rights are
overridden and you will need to give careful thought to which moveable structures are on
what land and when. You may also wish to bear in mind the salutary lessons of Ed Perkin’s
article ‘What to do when the media storm hits’.
Permitted development opportunities
Do you have redundant office buildings on the estate? Under recently granted permitted
development rights a detached building that was in existence on 12 March 2020 and
used as an office may now be able to be demolished and replaced with a single, purposebuilt, detached dwelling house. These new rights can make redevelopment easier but are
subject to many restrictions.
Permitted development rights also now allow an additional storey to be added to a
dwelling house if it is a single storey building or up to two storeys if it already has two.
Will this work in practice? Again, there are many rules and restrictions. For instance, the
dwelling’s location, say in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, may disqualify it. Rules
provide for the maximum height of the roof. A prior approval application will need to
consider the impact on neighbours. Detailed investigation is essential.
The Electrical Safety Standards Regulations 2020 began applying to existing tenancies
from 1 April 2021 (new tenancies having been subject to them since last Summer). They
affect tenancies of less than seven years (and 7 – 21 years with a break in the first seven)
which grant a right to occupy as a main home and which charge a rent. Landlords must
arrange for testing before the tenancy starts (and then at least every five years), provide the
report of that inspection to the tenant, arrange remedial work within 28 days and ensure
the latest wiring regulations are met throughout the tenancy. Landlords of farm holdings
may find their obligations under the Regulations (in relation to the main farmhouse) in
conflict with the provisions of an FBT which places these responsibilities on the tenant.
Some farm tenants may be surprised to find they too have responsibilities under the
Regulations (in relation to underlet farm cottages).
Rural Estates Newsletter