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Ask the Expert By Rory Galliers BSc (Hons) MRICS FAAV

Asset Review Avoiding Latest Potholes

"I’ve been so busy dealing with the day to day detail within the business that I haven’t done the overview planning I know I should have – and when speaking to friends Brexit has been the main topic. What else should I be considering when planning to protect and grow the future of my land based business?"

 

Balfours managing partner, Rory Galliers, says: We have all been guilty of being pre-occupied by Brexit for far too long. It may have quietly passed you by for instance, that the interestingly named “Office for Tax Simplification” has suggested important changes to Inheritance Tax and the rebasing of Capital Gains Tax on death.

Government is currently considering a radical shake up of Agricultural Tenancies with the aim of making it easier for farmers to come into or leave the industry. The proposals as currently set out will create significant anxieties for landlords who, to protect their interests, are likely to take land in hand when opportunity allows, thereby reducing the availability of let land.

It is a similar story regarding amendments to residential letting legislation which continues apace. There must be a risk that those private landlords who do not use an agent, will not want to face the bureaucracy and sell up, reducing supply and increasing rents.

The Labour Party discussion paper “Land for the Many” pulls few punches in setting out what the political left would like to see. The title of the paper says it all.

Farm subsidies and grants are likely to move away from supporting food production to supporting biodiversity and the environment. The pioneering “rewilding” project on the Knepp Castle Estate in Sussex is thought provoking. The owners of this previously traditionally managed 3,500 acre estate decided to cut their farming losses and allow a return to nature. This triggered a remarkable reversal of their fortunes and that of biodiversity.

With this in mind we have created a new ‘Strategic Planning’ department within Balfours. Our dedicated team has both the time and experience to stand back with farmers and landowners and consider the issues that should really matter to them and their estate, farm or rural business enterprise and its unique situation.

Whilst many businesses will deal on a regular basis with one or more agent this is an opportunity to bring in a fresh pair of eyes and ears. We have consultants with years of experience and we have younger highly qualified professionals with new ideas and ways of thinking.

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