A traditional mixed farm in Cheshire West (Local Planning Authority) was granted planning consent in 1982 to house an agricultural worker on a site in the Green Belt . In addition to the planning condition the council sought a legal agreement (106 agreement) to tie the house to the farm. The house with the agricultural tie had been occupied by a retired farmer from 1990 to 2019 when the owner moved into a care home. The management and ownership of the cottage passed to his four grandchildren. They faced a very tough decision as none of them could comply with the ag tie but they couldn’t sell the cottage as the rest of the farm was let out. The tenants of the farm did not want the cottage. The cottage was unoccupied so they did not want to market the property for sale. The original farmhouse had been sold off and the traditional buildings had all obtained consent for conversion with no occupation conditions.
Carver Knowles undertook an initial appraisal and found that as there was no relevant planning policy in Cheshire West and the recent planning and sales showed a lack of new agricultural enterprises in the area it was worth applying to the LPA to remove the condition.
A direct mailout was undertaken to farmers in the vicinity and although there was some interest, no viable purchasers came forward. The agricultural occupancy condition was considered obsolete by the market. An application was pulled together by Ellen Cottrell which was granted consent in November 2020. The LPA found that the existing farm holding no longer needed the house, there was no wider agricultural need.