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GSC Grays - Property Estates Land

Pause for Thought……

This article is written in May 2015 and, if one sits back and considers the world of estate and farm ownership, together with their management, we are in interesting times on a number of different levels:-

1. We have had a surprising and unexpected election result which leaves unanswered questions relating to the future of Scotland and the UK’s relationship with Europe.

2. Commodity prices refuse to lift, the dairy industry is in turmoil, having been told that fertiliser prices are linked to the oil price, they are now linked to gas prices so continue to go up and spray costs rise exponentially.

3. The Basic Payment Scheme forms are upon us; what is the future of support? How will new countryside stewardship work? Where are we going in respect of grant funding for forestry?

Many clients are sitting back and taking a look at exactly what their estate and farming objectives are. The first important decision is, (if there is a next generation), will they want to take over and what will they take over? If there isn’t a desire to take over or there is no next generation, what options and opportunities are there for the farm or estate going forward?

Values for land of the right quality and in the right place continue to rise dramatically, but the less desirable land with no hope of development, on the urban fringe and damaged by previous exploitation of minerals and coal, struggles to sell. There is little correlation between the economics of the farming business, the value of the land and return. This in turn means that trying to work out how to take future ownership forward is more difficult than any time in living memory.

The pressures on land ownership, the rights of people both invited and uninvited, the complexity of the legislation surrounding land ownership, together with the introduction of new legislation such as the Construction and Design (Management) Regulations, revised approval of pesticides and other sprays and the requirements associated with letting residential property, could easily put off the next generation.

However, it is vital that owners and their advisors work together to come up with a flexible and cohesive plan for the future of their family’s property. Increasingly, the next generation have explored other career paths before coming back home and they need careful guidance to ensure that they are aware of the ways in which their property can be taken forward to meet their personal objectives. There is plenty of opportunity out there but, in many cases, advice is needed. At GSC Grays, we are set to provide such advice and can work closely and liaise with the legal and accountancy advisors, to develop a sustainable plan to take your farm and estate through the remainder of your lifetime or down through the generations. We are fully aware of the fact that in many situations, there is a need not only for practical and bespoke advice, but also sensitivity, confidentiality and discretion. These values are of paramount importance to us all at GSC Grays and believe that this is what makes the care and attention we provide to our clients, unique.

For further information, please contact David Gray on 01388 487000.


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