Agricultural Occupancy Condition - what is it ?
An AOC is a planning condition imposed
on a planning permission which when granted permitted a
dwelling to be built in a location in open countryside
where normally permission for a house would not have
been granted. An agricultural/horticultural enterprise
would have to have existed at the time permission was
first granted which required the on-site presence of an
The wording of an agricultural
occupancy condition will vary depending on the age of the
property. First introduced in 1948 the early versions are
generally less precise in their wording than the current
standard occupancy restriction used by most planning
authorities. Some properties built in the 1940's and
1950's required the house to be occupied by a worker (and
his dependents) on a named farm, later versions allowed
such dwellings to be occupied by a farm worker employed
"locally" or in the "locality".
If your property is subject to a
condition where the wording differs significantly from
the example below, take professional advice before
applying to remove it. There is a high risk that a
planning authority will approve such an application but
will simultaneously impose the modern version which may
well increase your difficulties.
A typical agricultural occupancy condition in current use could be worded as follows:
"The occupation of the dwelling
shall be limited to a person solely or mainly working,
or last working, in the locality in agriculture or in
forestry, or a widow or widower of such a person and
any resident dependent."
The phrase "last working"
refers only to a
person retired due to age, ill health or injury from
agriculture or forestry and is no longer working. It
does not apply to a person whose previous employment
was in agriculture
or forestry but who has subsequently taken permanent
employment outside either industry.