Agricultural Lore - December Edition 2019
With another general election only 2 weeks away and so much of the national debate being centred around Brexit, much is made of the stagnation felt in the UK. It is true that within the Agriculture industry many issues are being held back, pending the election of a new government and a final decision on Brexit; consider the proposals for landlord & tenant reform, as well as plans for the new British agriculture policy. However I can also reflect on the very considerable development in thinking there has been, over this same period of time, on environmental issues and sustainable agriculture.
Three years ago the proposal to link all subsidies to environmental and rural development objectives was greeted with very real surprise and concern, whereas now, against a backdrop of action by extinction rebellion and Greta Thunberg's campaign, such ideas feel part of the mainstream. Discussions on issues like vertical farming, robotics, natural capital assets and the potential for insect protein feed have moved from theoretical research to real practice.
The last few months have produced plenty of new court decisions and we have highlighted the most interesting of these in our latest edition of Agricultural Lore. These cover a wide range of topics including the Electronic Communications Code, restrictive covenants, inheritance tax and grazing licences, whether solar panels and fish are "fixtures", interference with sporting rights, the legal requirement for rest breaks, agricultural tenancy pitfalls for landowners and developers and qualifying for the lower "mixed use" rate of Stamp Duty Land Tax.