19 Sep Positive Result in East Sussex – Certificate of Lawfulness Granted

The Rural Planning Practice recently achieved a Certificate of Lawful Use in respect to non-compliance with an Agricultural Occupancy Condition for a large house in Rother. We became involved in the project when our client was looking to purchase the property. At the Local Authority searches stage, the Agricultural Occupancy condition became apparent. The vendor of the property was unaware of the condition and had been living in breach of the condition for sixteen years. We proved that the original estate agent’s particulars from February 2001 failed to identify the AOC. The Statutory Declaration and Exhibit supported the case that neither the applicant, nor her late husband had ever been employed in agriculture and as such a Certificate of Lawfulness was granted by the local council.

Running concurrently to this was an application to remove the AOC. The vendor had been offered a sum in excess of £2.5 million pounds for the house and land, of which £1.7 million is attributed to the freehold value of the house, it’s outbuildings and grounds. We successfully demonstrated that the property would be totally unaffordable for an agricultural worker and that the condition had outlived its usefulness.