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Solar in Cumbria?

July 2020 News

As most will be aware, the continued growth of the renewable sector and its effect on the agricultural community continues to expand, providing further opportunities for those looking for alternative…

Solar in Cumbria?
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Solar in Cumbria?

July 2020 News

As most will be aware, the continued growth of the renewable sector and its effect on the agricultural community continues to expand, providing further opportunities for those looking for alternative income streams in their farm business or other potential land uses.

Whilst not entirely new to the area, there is now strong evidence of the gradual arrival of potential solar systems into the County which is now becoming a reality resulting, as much as anything, from the increasing levels of saturation of such schemes in the Southern and Midland areas, where climate in particular is more favourable.

Solar companies are increasingly looking at our area identifying sites that they consider to be potentially suitable to meet their criteria. This will often result in companies contacting land owners or farmers directly, looking to engage in discussions upon the potential for installing solar farms on their land.

As with any renewable schemes, there can be significant gains to be had from entering into such arrangements as well as some risks. The risks however can be greatly mitigated by the taking of experienced, professional advice on the potential implications of entering into any arrangements.

Such advice should also include consideration on the potential tax implications as well as the practical and financial elements arising.

The choice of operator is also highly significant with proven track record and financial security being of primary importance when entering into any long-term arrangement.

The better operators are also willing to meet farmer’s and land owner’s professional fees arising from negotiations which reduces the extent of any risk to those considering such ventures.

As we head towards the end of what has been a very wet July, some may question whether solar really has a place in our County, however this does not tell the entire picture as with improvements in both equipment and it’s efficiency, there is definitely scope for such ventures in our area which may well provide significant financial attraction as well as further opportunities to obtain different income streams to the business.

If you have either already received approaches or would consider wishing to promote land for this use then do get in touch as we would be delighted to help.

David Stout

01768 866611

davidstout@pfk.co.uk

BPS 2021 Rule Changes

July 2020 BPS News

The RPA have announced that for BPS claims in England as from 2021, claimants will not have to comply with Greening requirements. This means that there will be no three…

BPS 2021 Rule Changes
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BPS 2021 Rule Changes

July 2020 News

The RPA have announced that for BPS claims in England as from 2021, claimants will not have to comply with Greening requirements.

This means that there will be no three crop rule or Ecological Focus Areas required from 2021.

For further information on grants and subsidies, contact Jo Edwards on 01768 866611.

Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rental Sector (England) Regulations 2020

June 2020 Property News

Many Landlords already arrange for a qualified electrician to carry out regular inspections of the electrical installations in their let property. However, this is not currently law but rather best…

Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rental Sector (England) Regulations 2020
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Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rental Sector (England) Regulations 2020

June 2020 News

Many Landlords already arrange for a qualified electrician to carry out regular inspections of the electrical installations in their let property. However, this is not currently law but rather best practice; this is set to change.

On 1st June 2020, the UK Government released their guidance on the Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector. This places a duty on Landlords to ensure that rented property meets the 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations (the national standard to which all domestic wiring must conform).

Landlords in the private rented sector must ensure that electrical installations in their let property(s) are tested at intervals of no more than 5 years by a qualified electrician. Testing will focus on the fixed electrical installation i.e. sockets, light fittings, consumer unit, fuse box etc.

In England the regulations apply to:
• New tenancies from 1st July 2020
• Existing tenancies from 1st April 2021

The regulations cover most forms of tenancies, including Assured Shorthold Tenancies (AST’s). There are some exemptions, including long leases of seven years or more, however these may have their own regulations.

The electrician testing the installation must be qualified and produce an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) setting out the results of the inspection. The regulations require this report to be provided to the following people;
• For new tenancies, a copy of the EICR must be given to all tenants before they occupy the property.
• For existing tenancies, where an EICR is replaced, a copy of the new EICR must be provided to the tenants within 28 days of the inspection.
• Where a local authority requests the ECIR, it must be provided within seven days.

If a Landlord has already obtained a satisfactory EICR, which is less than 5 years old, and there have been no significant changes to the letting arrangements or the property, then the report will remain valid until the next inspection date specified.

It is important to retain a copy of the report until the next inspection.

If the EICR recommends any remedial work then it should be completed within 28 days of the report (or a shorter time period if specified). The electrician should then provide written confirmation that they have completed the work.

In terms of enforcement, this will be covered by the Local Authority. They will be able to fine private landlords up to £30,000 if they breach these regulations. Furthermore, if remedial works are required and are not carried out by the Landlord, the Local Authority can arrange for the works to be carried out and then charged back to the Landlord.

Covid-19 Restrictions
The Government recognises that due to the current restrictions carrying out electrical inspections may be more challenging, for example where a household is self-isolating. A Landlord should ensure that they have taken reasonable steps in order to comply with the regulations.
Key Facts
• 1st July 2020 New tenancies must have a satisfactory EICR to be let.
• 1st April 2021 All existing tenancies must have a satisfactory EICR.
• Certificates will be valid for a maximum of 5 years.
• Failed EICRs have 28 days (or less if stated by the electrician) to resolve any issues and obtain a satisfactory report.
• There is no upper spending limit for landlords when it comes to remedial works.
• Fines for non-compliance up to £30,000.

Countryside Stewardship Scheme - Act Now

June 2020 Grants News

Jo Edwards discusses why now is the best time to take advantage of the Countryside Stewardship Scheme.  Now that we have passed the Basic Payment Scheme application deadline, our attentions…

Countryside Stewardship Scheme - Act Now
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Countryside Stewardship Scheme - Act Now

June 2020 News

Jo Edwards discusses why now is the best time to take advantage of the Countryside Stewardship Scheme. 

Now that we have passed the Basic Payment Scheme application deadline, our attentions are turning to Countryside Stewardship (CS). If you are wanting to explore the options available and think you may want to apply for a CS scheme then now is the time to act.

You need to get an application pack ordered via your RPA online page by 30th June 2020. The deadline for submission of applications is 31st July 2020, so if you are thinking of a possible scheme now is the time to act.

Here at PFK we are fully equipped to help and advise on possible schemes, and will be able to undertake site visits to discuss options and put together applications, all whilst abiding by Government guidelines on social distancing.

We have experience of putting together a wide variety of schemes, from small holdings up to large complex schemes on areas of common land.

In this current climate of considerable uncertainty both globally in respect of the Covid-19 pandemic and also the considerable uncertainty there is within the agricultural industry on the back of Brexit and the phasing out of the Basic Payment Scheme, there is no better time than to look to the Countryside Stewardship scheme to bolster farm incomes while also doing your bit for the environment where you live and work.

Please remember, if you are thinking about Countryside Stewardship then now is the moment to act and get an application pack ordered before the end of June

Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us here PFK if you want any guidance or help.

T: 01768 866611
E: joedwards@pfk.co.uk

The Dairy Response Fund 2020

June 2020 News News

The Dairy Response Fund 2020 is now open for applications. This fund has been set up by DEFRA to help dairy farmers impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. The Handbook and…

The Dairy Response Fund 2020
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The Dairy Response Fund 2020

June 2020 News
The Dairy Response Fund 2020 is now open for applications.
This fund has been set up by DEFRA to help dairy farmers impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Handbook and application form are available on the gov.uk website. The deadline for applications is midnight on Friday 14th August 2020.

A66 Trans-Pennine Road Project

June 2020 Compulsory Purchase News

Following recent announcements relating to the A66 Trans-Pennine Project, David Stout discusses the implications of the scheme. As many will be aware, the next round of proposals relating to…

A66 Trans-Pennine Road Project
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A66 Trans-Pennine Road Project

June 2020 News

Following recent announcements relating to the A66 Trans-Pennine Project, David Stout discusses the implications of the scheme.

As many will be aware, the next round of proposals relating to the above, long awaited scheme have recently been announced by Highways England. The decision on the now preferred route removes some of the uncertainty over the final choice of options that were previously on the table, however it should also focus the minds of those either directly or indirectly affected by the proposals to ensure that they obtain the best advice on the implications arising as quickly as possible.

Many will have received standard letters from Highways England informing them that they may be directly affected whilst others who may not be having any land taken will still find their properties affected after completion of the scheme.

Whilst the route may have been chosen, there is still an important consultation process to engage in which provides significant opportunities to work with Highways England to mutual benefit prior to the starting of the Compulsory purchase process.

Initially this should involve getting more detailed information and plans showing the implications on each owner or tenant of affected land and property.
Such early intervention can greatly help in mitigating complications and reducing unnecessary problems in the design stage that they may otherwise not be aware of.

The contractors will also require compound and storage sites throughout the length of the scheme, which again need to be identified and can be covered through early discussions.

The quality of such advice is absolutely key as is the choice of agent. We at PFK Land Agency are highly experienced in such matters, are ideally located and are already instructed by a number of clients to represent them in the ongoing negotiations. We would be happy to assist and advise any other parties who are keen to ensure that their interests are formally represented.

By way of further consolation, if these matters are taken through to claims, then the reasonable professional fees arising will be met by the acquiring authority.

Should you require any help or wish to discuss any of the above issues, please contact myself or Jo Edwards.

David Stout: davidstout@pfk.co.uk
Jo Edwards: joedwards@pfk.co.uk
Tel:- 01768 866611

New Funding to Help Dairy Farmers

June 2020 News News

This week the Government have announced new funding to help dairy farmers who have been affected during the Covid 19 outbreak. The fund will allow farmers to access up to £…

New Funding to Help Dairy Farmers
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New Funding to Help Dairy Farmers

June 2020 News

This week the Government have announced new funding to help dairy farmers who have been affected during the Covid 19 outbreak.

The fund will allow farmers to access up to £10,000 of funding to help with any income drop suffered during Covid 19.

Eligible dairy farmers will be those who have lost more than 25% of their income during April and May due to Covid 19 disruptions and price drops. Farmers will be able to access funding for the months of April and May to cover up to 70% of their lost income up to a maximum payment of £10,000.

The new Dairy Response Fund will be open for applications on 18th June with payments expected to start from 6th July. To demonstrate eligibility farmers will need to show that they have suffered a reduction in the average price paid for their milk of 25% or more in April when compared with the price paid in the month of February.

Details of the application process are awaited, but in the meantime farmers can prepare for the opening of the application window by preparing details of their production levels and the prices paid for the months of February, April and May.

Crosby Ravensworth Common - Secretary of State Public Consultation

May 2020 News

The documents on this page support the application by the Crosby Ravensworth Commoners Association to the Planning Inspectorate for consent for fencing under Section 38 of the Common Land Act…

Crosby Ravensworth Common - Secretary of State Public Consultation
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Crosby Ravensworth Common - Secretary of State Public Consultation

May 2020 News

The documents on this page support the application by the Crosby Ravensworth Commoners Association to the Planning Inspectorate for consent for fencing under Section 38 of the Common Land Act 2006.

Details of the consultation process are in the following Public Notice:

Click here to view the Public Notice

The Section 38 consent Application Form submitted is below:

Application Form

The application form refers to a series of Appendices.
Please note that Appendix 3 and the proposals map provided below give the detail of the proposals, plus the feedback from the informal consultation process undertaken ahead of this formal application

Supporting documents for the Application are below:

Appendix 1 – Commons Registers

Appendix 1 – Part 1

Appendix 1 – Part 2

Appendix 1 – Part 3

Appendix 2 – Active and non-active graziers

Appendix 2

Appendix 3 – Proposals for Crosby Ravensworth Common, Bank Moor Common and Hardendale Common; including informal consultation feedback

Appendix 3

Proposals Map

Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment & Addendum to LVIA

DEFRA Announces Extension to BPS & Grant Schemes

April 2020 BPS Grants News

The Government has confirmed the window to submit applications for the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) and make a claim for Countryside Stewardship (CS), Environmental Stewardship (ES) and woodland legacy revenue…

DEFRA Announces Extension to BPS & Grant Schemes
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DEFRA Announces Extension to BPS & Grant Schemes

April 2020 News

The Government has confirmed the window to submit applications for the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) and make a claim for Countryside Stewardship (CS), Environmental Stewardship (ES) and woodland legacy revenue payments will be extended by one month.

In light of the disruption caused by the coronavirus outbreak, applications can be submitted until 15 June without penalty.

PFK Land Agency are still offering telephone appointments, and it is being encouraged that claims are made as soon as possible, with a large number of claims already received by the RPA.

The RPA will continue to monitor the situation carefully and consider if further measures are needed to support farmers. Applications for new CS Higher Tier and Mid Tier agreements are still being accepted ahead of their respective deadlines of 1 May and 31 July 2020.

If you’d like to discuss making your claim or to make a telephone appointment, please contact the office on 01768 866611.

Coronavirus Update

March 2020 News News

At PFK we aim to continue our service as best we can during this difficult time. Whilst will we continue to monitor the situation and take guidance from the government…

Coronavirus Update
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Coronavirus Update

March 2020 News

At PFK we aim to continue our service as best we can during this difficult time.

Whilst will we continue to monitor the situation and take guidance from the government in order to keep our customers, staff and their families safe, we set out below how our operation will run as from Wednesday 18th March 2020 until further notice.

Our Land Agency department will remain open at present, although there will be a reduced staff presence in the office, and our telephone service will operate as normal. We do ask that if you do plan to attend our office that you telephone beforehand as your enquiry may be able to be dealt with over the phone. General access to our office will be by appointment only. If you would like to drop documentation off at our offices then we ask that this is posted through our letter box.

We can be contacted on the following number & email address:

landagency@pfk.co.uk

01768 866 611

In an effort to delay the spread of Coronavirus, we ask anyone who attends our office that they inform us if any of the following apply:

1. You have recently returned from overseas travel.
2. You have come into close contact with someone who has laboratory confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis in the past 14 days.
3. You have been tested for COVID-19 and are awaiting test results.
4. You have a fever or symptoms of lower respiratory illness such as cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.
5. You have any other medical conditions or vulnerabilities that may put you at risk.

If any of the above factors apply to you, we ask that you do not attend our office and that you contact us by phone or email and we will attempt to offer alternative arrangements if possible, for your appointments.

Given that many businesses are likely to be affected in some way, please note that there may be some delays to our normal service but we will strive to keep these to a minimum.

Stay safe & well.

PFK Land Agency Team

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