Ag Tie RegularisationWhere it can be proven that an Ag Tie has been breached for a continuous period in excess of 10 years it is possible to apply for a Certificate of Lawful existing use or CLEUD.

A breach of the condition might be where persons who are not employed in agriculture or forestry have occupied the property for more than ten years.  The breach of condition must be continuous, with no significant gaps in occupation and occurring at the time the application is made. Even gaps of a couple of months can cause an issue and can cause the whole process to fail.

The Certificate, once granted, confirms that the occupation of the dwelling in breach of the condition is immune from enforcement action.

This is a really effective way of dealing with an Ag Tie and means that the property can be occupied by or sold to anyone regardless of their occupation. It will also lead to an increase in value. However, it should be noted that this method does not remove the Ag Tie, just prevents the Council from taking enforcement action against unlawful occupation. If the property is occupied by a qualifying person after the Certificate is granted, the Tie will be reactivated.

So whilst this is a really useful method, care should be taken and expert advice should be sought, particularly as a failed application will bring the breach of condition to the attention of the Local Planning Authority and may result in Enforcement Action and the requirement for the occupiers to comply with the condition.