As has been greatly publicised, new permitted development rights came into force for agricultural buildings in England back in April last year. We have certainly seen many clients seek advice from their land agents and our team of experts regarding such opportunities. These new rights permit, in some cases, the change of use of an agricultural building to a dwelling house without the requirement for planning permission (subject to meeting various criteria). One point to highlight here is of course the potential tax implications of such a change of use as clearly the building itself will potentially lose its agricultural status and, therefore, this will have potential inheritance tax implications. Furthermore, from a capital gains tax point of view, the value of the property will immediately increase with the change of use to a dwelling house. Therefore, any tax planning should be considered well in advance to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
We always liaise with your accountants prior to effecting any transfer of property if, for example, you were going to transfer the building to the next generation as part of succession planning. Again our highly experienced specailists can provide bespoke advice on such matters. As ever, however, you should liaise closely with your appointed agents and accountants to make sure that the solicitors advising you are fully aware as to any such activities which you may be undertaking or wish to undertake.