What are Agricultural Ties?...........

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 agricultural worker.

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.

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