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Sheldon Bosley Host Successful Seminar

Sheldon Bosley Seminar

Over 1Sheldon Bosley Seminar00 farmers, land and property owners attended at Ingon Manor Golf Club recently to be informed on new developments affecting rural property in particular.  The event was hosted jointly by Sheldon Bosley, Ellacotts and the Country Land and Business Association (CLA). Topics covered were CAP reform, ID Assurance, Permitted Development Rights and Capital Taxation.  A great deal to cover in just a couple of hours.

For Sheldon Bosley, Associate Partner, Laura Gaydon gave a presentation on ID Assurance; this is the new on-line registration system which farmers, and later everyone else, will need to complete in order for the new Direct Payment Scheme and Stewardship applications to be made.

Laura said “The newSheldon Bosley Estate Agents logo regime is ‘Digital by Default’, which will no doubt cause problems for those farmers who either do not have computer access or for whom broadband speeds are very slow.  Sheldon Bosley expect to be helping many of their clients through the process but we are encouraging everyone to make their ID registration as soon as the system becomes live, expected to be any time now.  For any who intend to leave things until next year we expect some will realise that mistakes have been made on cropping requirements or need to leave sufficient land in ‘Environment Focus Areas.’

CLASam Russell also a Partner with Sheldon Bosley, dealt with the new Permitted Development Rights for the conversion of farm buildings to houses.  Many of the audience were surprised to find the breadth of opportunity that this gives rise to, with potential even for steel framed buildings to gain consent for a residential use.  Sam said “It is a strange but welcome relaxation in policy which sees an old Dutch Barn or Grain Store with residential potential.  The fact that the existing form of the building needs to be retained does give rise to some challenge from a design point of view, but Sheldon Bosley’s Architectural and Planning team have come up with some novel approaches which appear to work well.”

Ellacotts Chartered AccountantsFor Ellacotts, Partner Mark Dickin, gave advice on how to manage inheritance tax and capital gains tax liability given the changing economic and political climate and Donna Tavernor of CLA gave the audience an overview of the proposed reform to CAP due to be introduced on 1st January next year.
Sam Russell concluded “the audience seemed to appreciate the range of topics covered and from the number of questions raised I anticipate being very busy submitting applications for farm building conversions.”

Please contact Laura Gaydon ( 01608 661666) or Sam Russell ( 01608 661666) if you would like to discuss these matters further.

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The New Identity Assurance Scheme

CAP ReformThe Government has just announced the launch of the new Identity Assurance Scheme, which replaces the former Government Gateway security scheme for online applications and secure data exchange.  All farmers wishing to access the CAP Information Service will first need to register.  The website is www.GOV.UK/Verify and further information is available on the GOV.UK Blog post CAP Reform.

Sheldon Bosley are reminding all their agricultural clients to register now rather than wait until 2015.  New Agent authorisation will be required in each case too.

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Some progress in the decision making for the CAP Reform……….

Recent announcements have confirmed some progress in the decision making for the CAP Reform, however many details are still yet to be decided. The main agreed principles are as follows:

1. The existing Single Payment Scheme Entitlements will be rolled forward into the new Scheme, becoming ‘Basic Payment Entitlements’.

• The number of Entitlements a claimant holds on 31st December 2014 will be the number that    he will hold under Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) from 1st January 2015.

• Where a farmer holds more BPS Entitlements than eligible land declared in 2015, any excess Entitlements will be lost

2. The three current payment regions in England will remain the same, being non-SDA, SDA outside the Moorland, and Moorland SDA.

3. Member States can apply their own reduction to Basic Payment Scheme payments above 150,000 euros, with DEFRA’s preference being to apply the minimum level of reduction allowed, which is 5% reduction above 150,000 euros.

4. A minimum claim size of 5 ha will be introduced.

5. DEFRA will implement a Young Farmer Scheme, giving an additional 25% payment to qualifying Applicants for the first five years of setting up their Holding. The individual must not be over 40 years old in the year they submit their BPS claim and have set up as Head of Holding in the preceding five years.

6. Crop diversification will apply as follows:

• Less than 10 ha arable area – no crop diversification;

• 10 ha to 30 ha of arable area – claimants must grow at least two different crops with main crop not covering more than 75% of arable area;

• More than 30 ha of arable area – claimants must grow at least three crops with main crop not covering more than 75% of arable area. Two main crops must not cover more than 95% of arable area;

• Winter and spring varieties will count as separate crops.

7. Permanent grassland will be monitored on a national level, with baseline figures restricted to falling by less than 5%;

8. Ecological Focus Areas (EFA’s) are applicable where an applicant has more than 15 ha of arable land – 5% of the arable area must be delivered as EFAs, including fallow land, terraces, landscape features, buffer strips, agro-forestry, uncultivated land adjacent to woodland, short rotation coppice, catch crops/green cover and nitrogen-fixing crops.

Trading is on the Up

Prices seen for Entitlement trading has already risen this season, and it is expected that owners with Naked Acres will look to purchase Entitlements to match their land area ready for 2015. Those with excess entitlements should consider selling as from 2015 any excess entitlements will be lost.

If you have any Entitlements to sell, or are looking to purchase please contact our Rural Land Agency team on 01608 661666.

For further advice on the CAP Reform and how this may affect your business or current farming arrangements, please call Rosemary Smith or Laura Gaydon on 01608 661666.