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Winter Newsletter 2013/14

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Contents

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Welcome

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“More British food on more British plates”

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Being the perfect tenant

Colonel Chris Hadfield

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Neston Park Estate

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Planning made easier

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Park life

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Natural capital and agricultural intensification: can we have both?

Simon Knight, Senior Partner

Interview with Peter Kendall

Sir James and Lady Venetia Fuller

James Laver, Lucy Back

Alec Dickson

Professor Tim Benton

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Future of Farming Review

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Staying alive

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Why rural broadband is essential

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Projects you may not expect us to be involved in

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The great housing shortage

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Eastern promise

David Fursdon

Health and safety comes home Dan Coston

Ian Smith

Dr Charles Trotman, Ben Knight

Robert Chapman

John Coleman Property Market Review

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Can you replace nature?

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“We have to catch up with what they’re doing in Africa”

Susie Emmett, Michael Mack

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Dr Jason Beedell

Fracking - let’s be clear, the picture is not clear

Thomas Stanley

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Food security depends on water security

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The answer is blowin’ in the wind

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Downs on the up

Michael Wooldridge

Dr Alan Harries

Arthur Witchell

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Farmland

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Agricultural rents

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Residential sales and Equestrian

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Residential lettings

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Forestry and Telecoms

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Sporting

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News in brief

Giles Wordsworth, Dr Jason Beedell

Stephen Spencer, Toby Metcalfe

Andrew Turner, Simon Derby, Sam Tydeman

Chris Jowett

Andy Greathead, Kay Paton

David Steel


Welcome Welcome to our newsletter. Smiths Gore has been committed to the success of rural property and business since our inception in 1847. We have always considered ourselves to be at the forefront of pioneering solutions that enable those who live and work in the countryside to prosper. In this edition, we have interviews with pioneers in their fields. Peter Kendall is frank about the challenges and opportunities he has faced during his eight years as President of the National Farmers’ Union - three global price spikes, extreme weather events, bird-flu, TB, and Foot and Mouth. He says that one of his greatest achievements is changing the mentality of the industry. Looking forward, he talks about the need to ‘farm smart’ by producing more and impacting less. Professor Tim Benton, the UK Champion for Global Food Security and professor of population ecology at the University of Leeds, asks whether it is possible to produce more and look after our natural environment.

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David Fursdon was the chairman of the Future of Farming Review, published in July, and is also a consultant to Smiths Gore. The Review examined the opportunities and barriers for new entrants into farming and David appraises what has happened since July. Managing farms and estates is often more than just a job - it is a way of life. Sir James and Lady Venetia Fuller give us an insight into the diversification and marketing of the Neston Park Estate as they “face up to meet the challenges of an ever-changing world”. This beautiful estate in Wiltshire is a sought after location for films and photo shoots - it was the location for Lark Rise to Candleford - and Neston Park Farm Shop is a destination food outlet. National concern about energy security and prices is growing. We believe that the countryside has a role to play in producing lower-carbon heat and power. Thomas Stanley’s article on fracking looks at the pros and cons and Dr Alan Harries, our Head of Sustainability and Renewable Energy, makes the case for on-shore wind. I hope this edition provides you with fuel for thought. If you would like to discuss any of the issues raised within this publication, please do contact me or one of the team.

Simon Knight Senior Partner


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QA

“More British food on more British plates”

Peter Kendall has steered the NFU for eight years, from Foot and Mouth to horsegate, biodiversity to broadband. As his tenure as President comes to an end he tells Andrew Teanby about the NFU’s relentless work to assist and promote British farming and to make sure ‘Farming Matters’ long into the future Looking back Andrew Teanby: What do you think the most significant changes in agriculture have been during your tenure as National Farmers’ Union President?

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Peter Kendall: We have moved from an industry that was seen as a drag on the economy and a risk to the environment to one that is recognised as vitally important to producing the food that we need to feed an expanding population and that contributes to the environment. We need to produce more food for British consumers and this has been widely acknowledged within the food sector, both retail and consumer. We’re at a point where retailers are now bragging about who sources the most British produce, which is great. The industry has moved away from feeling sorry for itself to being very optimistic about the future. I was very lucky in having Director of Communications, Anthony Gibson, and together we delivered messages that were relentlessly optimistic and upbeat. There is a confidence in the industry that wasn’t there before and young people are coming back into agriculture. There are plenty of food programmes on the major channels which are bringing farming to a different generation. All in all, farmers have become better ambassadors for the industry. I would like to think that the NFU and the industry have rallied together to achieve progress in a unified fashion. Unfortunately there are still some parts of the Government that think farming is full of subsidy junkies and they need to wake up to the fact that we need to reinvest in the industry but overall we have made some in-roads into changing the mind-set.

commodity market, three global price spikes, extreme weather events, bird-flu, TB, and Foot and Mouth. In spite of all of this the industry is much more confident about the future thanks to a number of NFU campaigns. We have changed the mentality of the industry and there is now a UK wide recognition that ‘Farming Matters’. A particular highlight for me was pulling the different factions - farmers individually, milk buyers and ancillary businesses - of the dairy industry together to agree simple measures to enable the sector to sustainably prosper. We enabled a direct conversation with the consumer (when we organised hundreds of farmers to travel into central London) whereby we engaged them in our strategy; the campaign’s success was borne out by a change in consumer mind-set which happened over a few days. The message was boosted by the incredible engagement of the consumer with the campaign which resulted in pressure being put on retailers to offer fairer prices.

What do you think is your biggest achievement? We have stuck to positive and optimistic messaging about the industry despite significant peaks and troughs in the

Andrew Teanby and Peter Kendall


Some people would say that the NFU is a single issue pressure group that has lobbied for its members’ interests at the expense of the countryside and taxpayers. How do you respond to that type of analysis? Our core principles are to be credible, consistent and courteous. We could easily obtain headlines through a smash and grab portrayal of issues but we would quickly lose our credibility. We are careful about what we say and how we represent the industry; we’re in it for the long-term and for the good of UK Plc, not the short-term interests of farming even if we do occasionally upset some members. We are trying to make farming vibrant and healthy in the long-term and will represent that objective unashamedly. Strong British agriculture is good for the UK. With 3.7m members in the National Trust, 1m+ in the RSPB, are these bodies more entitled to influence public policy in the countryside than the NFU with 55,000 members? The number of large, green non-governmental organisations with big PR budgets that have set about farming is a big concern. The National Trust is there to protect and preserve historic houses and as an organisation it has veered into areas that its members don’t necessarily want to get involved in. Most people belong to the National Trust because they enjoy visiting nice houses. The local staff working for the RSPB are generally brilliant but the hierarchy is political; they are selective with their statistics and focus on a number of rare bird species in decline rather than acknowledging the massive growing number of farmland birds and championing the managers of the natural environment. The real food security challenge facing us all goes hand in hand with huge environmental challenges and the RSPB won’t acknowledge this. The RSPB’s current negative dialogue doesn’t engage farmers and bashing out extrapolations of figures from the 1970s rather than working with farmers to maintain and continue to grow numbers is wrong and unhelpful.

Present - Common Agricultural Policy reform Has the CAP strayed away from its objectives? With 28 member states, the CAP is trying to serve too many masters. The CAP now includes agricultural policy as well as environmental and social policies; effectively it is trying to be all things to all men. We need to get back to the CAP’s main aims. According to Defra officials “the taxpayer gets almost nothing from spending on Pillar 1”; and the Secretary of State has stated that modulating funds from Pillar 1 to Pillar 2 at the maximum rate of 15% is “the right thing to do”. How would you respond to Defra’s assessment and intentions? There is an ideological assumption that taxing farmers and then the State centrally spending the money is the right thing to do (whereas it doesn’t happen in other industries).

When farmers get rewarded for their environmental work it effectively means farmers are being asked to stop farming to get their money back. Creating a pot of money (via 15% modulation) to get farmers to do less farming as we approach 60% self-sufficiency and with a rapidly growing population is madness. There is no need to expand the Pillar 2 schemes which can also deliver competitive measures before we increase modulation. There is an opportunity to revisit the modulation rate in 2017 and we don’t need to fund the New Environmental Land Management Scheme until the end of 2016, so there is no need to take the money off farmers yet. The challenge is to encourage Defra to go gently into modulation and take it on a needs-must basis. We can do 9% modulation and still have significant funds for rural development. There is simply no point in accumulating a war chest of cash. Farmers would love not to be dependent on the taxpayer but while agriculture is meddled with globally, the decoupled payments of the CAP are the best way of helping farmers. Will the current CAP reform improve or exacerbate the UK’s position in terms of disparity in payment rates between Member States? The UK government is obsessed with cutting the EU budget and will reduce payments from Pillar 1. There will be more disparity and more recoupling of markets and more meddling. There should be a decision on UK modulation in the next couple of weeks. What we will end up with is more distortion and more complicated agricultural policy whereas what we actually need is to be more globally competitive to enable us to operate in world markets. Is moving money up the hill the right strategy? And, if so, how should it be done, Pillar 1 or Pillar 2? The uplands have fewer options than in the lowlands and we need to share the pain particularly if all farmers lose ELS support. Does it need to be 83%? (This is the % increase which is proposed in Pillar 1 payment rates to Severely Disadvantaged Moorland Areas). As for moving money up the hill, there needs to be more clarity. The danger with Pillar 2 is that the money goes to the landlord and the tenant has fewer animals and has to farm in a certain way, therefore the NFU Uplands Board has indicated that they prefer support from Pillar 1.

Looking forwards Enclosed farmland is a vital habitat in terms of food production and the provision of landscape, recreation and other cultural benefits. However, it also imposes negative effects on the UK, including greenhouse gas emissions, diffuse water pollution and losses to biodiversity. A challenge for the future will be to enhance the multiple ecosystem services that enclosed farmland provides despite climate change; what needs to be done? Continued overleaf...

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of broadband is imperative. Since 2005 the decoupling of livestock payments has jolted farmers and we now need to be able to drive modern business in the Upland areas. The proliferation of environmental schemes will make Upland farmers more dependent and we need to work with them to make them more productive as farmers not merely parkland keepers. Upland farmers need help to become more self-reliant and independent.

We need to ‘farm smart’ by producing more and impacting less. If we decide to re-wild big chunks of the UK we will be buying more of our food from poorer countries, potentially increasing deforestation and not helping to feed the world. We know it is not possible to feed the growing global population with zero impact upon the environment. We need to reverse the decline in domestic food production and we can do this by intensifying production with smart precision farming, using fewer inputs in a targeted way. We must also work out a way to get more bangs for our buck for land out of production so that biodiversity and wildlife flourish. The Campaign for the Farmed Environment is one of the initiatives that is helping this but there are also a whole host of other environmental schemes such as the Greenhouse Gas Action Plan and the Nitrates Action Plan; they are voluntary but we are simply making farmers aware that there is a better way of doing things.

What do you think were the main outcomes from the NFU National Tenant Farmers’ Conference?

The Government’s Agri-Tech Strategy, to convert research into commercial technologies and on-farm practice, has been welcomed by the NFU. What research do you think could have the greatest impact upon the countryside?

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No more blue sky thinking: the investment and these initiatives need to translate into practical farming. Smart technology will help farming produce more. If the UK voted to leave the EU in any future referendum, how do you think this would affect UK agriculture?

The NFU will work with whatever system the British people choose. The UK has shown a propensity to gold-plate regulation and we have put in place measures that have impacted agriculture. If we opted out and still wanted access to markets we would still need to meet all the regulatory burdens. For example, Switzerland, which is outside the EU, has to produce to EU regulatory standards in order to trade with the EU. The question is how would we sit on a small island in the middle of the North Sea? Life outside the EU would be challenging and uncertain. What do you think the long-term future of subsidies / future direction of farm support should be? Farmers are entrepreneurial businessmen and produce what consumers and markets want. We want to get away from hand-outs and we will work hard to enable farmers to achieve this goal, and must ensure that the markets are fair, transparent and distorted less. What can be done to tackle the economic challenges in the Uplands? We need to be careful that we don’t restrict what the Upland farmers can do through environmental schemes. Good communications are essential and a good delivery

Andrew Teanby

Peter Kendall

Senior Researcher 01522 507312 andrew.teanby@smithsgore.co.uk

National Farmers’ Union President

We are determined not to focus on historical land structures such as AHA tenancies but to look forwards to opportunities for new entrants. We will work with landlords to create the right structures to put more British food on more British plates in a sustainable way. The question is how do you do that with very short tenancies? Landlords’ agents need to give tenants a chance, particularly if we are encouraging new entrants and first generation farmers with ambitions. What role do you believe land agents, such as Smiths Gore, have to play in supporting farmers? We are facing a world that is increasingly more technical and it is sensible to have regular business health checks on land tenures, succession planning and the structure of the business. Professional advice is invaluable if only to use the advisors to bounce ideas off. Farming is increasingly high risk and involves large investments. What do you see as the biggest opportunities and threats to farming? We are currently working with retailers on how the consumer has reacted to the horsegate scandal. Retailers are competing to buy British and it is the NFU’s job to hold them to account and expose any shortcomings, or broken promises. But most importantly we must make the most of these market opportunities. With 82% of the population considered as ‘urban’ we need to work hand in hand to make sure that some of the values of the urban majority don’t stop British agriculture from making the investments required to grow the industry. What is your advice to farmers to look out and prepare for in 2014? It’s not my job to advise farmers, it’s my job to help create the conditions for farmers to build exciting businesses.

We have changed the mentality of the industry and there is now a wide recognition that ‘Farming Matters’


Being the perfect tenant Examining Earth from outer space over the better part of two decades has given astronaut Colonel Chris Hadfield a unique perspective on the planet’s rapidly changing landscape, and our duty to live up to our environmental responsibilities It’s a changing world…

From micro to macro

“You can see the natural changes that occur – the algae blooms and things like that. But you also see human influence. Probably the most vivid change over my time in space was the large inland sea by Kazakhstan called the Aral Sea, which was an enormous body of water that by inadvertent or even deliberate human mismanagement, has almost completely dried up. It is a real bell weather or cautionary tale.”

“The space station, high above, is a microcosm – an international collection of people living in a finite area with finite resources, just like the planet below. Power comes from a blend of fossil fuels and renewable energy. Air, food, and water come in limited quantities. In both locations, lives are in the balance. Make a small mistake and people are inconvenienced, capability is lost. Make a big one and people die.”

Spinning out of control…

Thinking light years ahead…

“Imagine if you could… go around the Earth 16 times a day, at the window, and just think about our place in the universe. It is hard to think locally when you have had a chance to see the whole thing that way. It makes you a better steward of the planet. It makes you think of yourself as sharing the planet with everybody else.”

“Climate is changing naturally, and perhaps as a result of what we have done, our influence… And so maybe we just need to be more responsible in the decisions we make and think of the bigger term, more than five years, more than the upcoming elections, more than just one lifespan, and think about our grandchildren and even further.”

Obscuring the truth 9

“The costs of a rampant petroleum economy are visible even from space. The grey smear of pollution across the world’s largest cities obscures them on all but the windiest days.”

Aral Sea, Kazakhstan

Landsat MSS May 29, 1973 U.S Department of the Interior U.S Geological Survey

Landsat MSS August 19, 1987

Landsat ETM+ July 29, 2000

In cooperation with

Chris Hadfield’s (@Cmdr_Hadfield) new book An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth is out now, £18.99, macmillan.com Sources: Wired, BBC Radio 4 Today


Neston Park Estate

From film set to farm shop, Neston Park is the model of a diversified 21st century estate 10

Neston Park Estate sits in the village of Atworth in Wiltshire and is home to Sir James and Lady Venetia Fuller and their two young sons, Archie and Harry. This is very much a family home – bikes and pumpkins adorn the front terrace and there is an incredible tree-house on the front lawn. Nobody stands on ceremony here.

farm shop premises on a major ‘A’ road literally on their back door step and Neston Park Farm Shop was subsequently opened in 2006. Lady Venetia has managed to achieve the perfect balance of destination retail outlet and local shop, displaying a talent for retail marketing that should have international brands clamouring for her services.

The house has been the home of the Fuller family since the 19th century. The family is well known for its long association with Fullers Brewery, producer of Fullers London Pride ale and indeed James remains a non-executive director of the business. Following the premature death of his father James became the fourth Baronet in 1998, moving into the family home shortly thereafter. He and his wife recognised that there was huge opportunity to do things slightly differently and to deviate from family tradition so that the estate could “face up and meet the challenges of an ever-changing world”. He brought the estate back in–house from the then managing agents and set about creating a business that could sustain future generations of the family, working in partnership with Ben Knight of Smiths Gore to achieve this.

With a mere seven years trading under it’s belt, the Farm Shop is punching above its weight in quality and variety and has already accumulated a number of Great Taste Awards. Estate owned produce plays a major role in the supply chain for the Farm Shop. The beef is sourced directly from Home Farm, and the milk comes from the 200 strong Jersey herd which is then sent to Ivy House Dairy Farm in Frome which specialises in the production of unhomogenised milk, butters and creams. A range of cheese has been created by artisan cheese maker, Julianna Sedlie, who rents one of the commercial units on the estate. She is to be credited with developing a Reblochon style cheese from the pasteurised milk of the Fuller Jersey herd, named after Sir James himself - ‘Baronet’; more than a mere marketing gimmick, it is delicious and nobody else in the UK is currently producing this type of cheese.

The 1,200 acre farm, part of the 4,500 acre estate, is run in-hand and is certified organic. The current farm manager, Sandy Macfarlane, has been there for as long as Sir James can remember and is to retire shortly. The estate has recently undergone the process of recruiting a new farm manager - a process led by Tom Brunt of Smiths Gore’s Farm Management team. The farm has a herd of Aberdeen Angus and Jersey cross-bred cattle. As the meat was touted locally, Lady Venetia saw a huge gap in the local retail market for homegrown, traceable and sustainable produce. The Fullers spotted the perfect site for the

Venetia Fuller has never lost sight of the fact that first and foremost she is a mother and she has worked hard to develop a range of local traceable produce that is superior in taste, ethically sourced as well as affordable: “Our organic minced beef is cheaper than other local supermarkets”. The café offers fantastic value for money with a field-to-fork menu and children are openly welcome. Venetia and James have developed a cult family following amongst the locals by including fun family events (quiet fireworks, woodland trails) as well as making visits to the Farm Shop educational for the younger generation so they understand where their food comes from.


The next big challenge is the launch of an online ordering service which is planned for late Spring next year, one which will undoubtedly increase the loyal consumer following that this retail outlet has already developed in such a short space of time. The Farm Shop is a great case study in diversification. Out of hours it has played host to a number of cinema screenings and has even been used as a wedding venue. But is hasn’t all been plain sailing for the family. In 2011 the estate was approached by Ham and Doulting Stone Limited about re-opening the 197 acre Bath Stone mine called Park Lane Quarry. The local press reacted with predictable negative headlines whipping up local opposition and claiming that articulated lorries would ‘destroy’ the village. The reports were one-sided. The fact of the matter was that the original route to the quarry was impractical and unworkable and would have caused unacceptable levels of congestion in the village on a daily basis. An alternative route was the only workable solution and the planning permissions allow two lorries a day only, with 99% of the work taking place underground. Working in partnership with the local community has always formed a core part of the estate strategy and the tenant’s £1 million investment in the quarry has created jobs for local people. A state-of-the-art stone cutting machine imported from Italy is now producing the distinctive honey-coloured Bath stone that features in so many buildings of the World Heritage Site of the city of Bath and surrounding towns and villages. Unlike a great many other estates, the house is not open to the public but it does play its part in income generation as the filming location for a number of productions, most notably the BBC’s adaptation of Lark Rise to Candleford which resulted in a four year partnership and a very useful income stream (which

paid for a section of the roof to be repaired). There have since been six other productions filmed in the house and various photo shoots have taken place. The Fullers have established good working relationships with location companies but are keen to stress that it’s disruptive and sometimes you won’t recognise your own home. They once came home to find all the cupboard doors missing from the kitchen (they were reinstated at the end of the shoot)! And on another day, in mid-winter, a house full of snow! The estate is taking advantage of current low interest rates to achieve a strong return for its investment in the improvement of the estate cottages as they revert back to the estate from Rent Act tenancies. The estate is also constantly on the look-out for development potential near Corsham. There is an embryonic project on the planning table for affordable housing linked with the estate in the form of a modern day almshouse to ensure that housing development is appropriate for the area and that it provides affordable housing for local people. Not content to stand still, James and Venetia are demonstrating that they are more than capable of rising to the challenges of an ever changing world in an entrepreneurial fashion with a nod to tradition. Neston Park Farm Shop is certainly worth a visit (and will be accessible nationwide when the online ordering service is launched) and is giving other five star food establishments a run for their money. There is no doubt that the Neston Park brand is in its ascendancy.

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Planning made easier Smiths Gore has led a partnership that allows work on listed buildings to take place without applying for itemised consent

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James Laver and Lucy Back, from our building and rural management teams at our Taunton office, are working closely with English Heritage to agree the first Heritage Partnership Agreement in the South West on a rural estate. The agreements are non-statutory but legally enforceable between key partners, including owners and the local planning authority. They allow works to be undertaken as and when required over a set period, typically five years, without applying for listed building consent for each project, often for straightforward or repetitive works. “The Estate has numerous houses and cottages, farm buildings and other structures of historic significance - nearly 40% of which are Listed Buildings. “We have designed a template which records each listed building on the estate and creates a management plan based on the works that will be needed. As importantly, it identifies how the work will be carried out.

Quick guide to a HPA •

A Heritage Partnership Agreement usually has two parts: Part one specifies the works permitted by the agreement; Part two and its appendices explains the historic importance of the site, its present condition, the principles for its conservation and the programme of proposed works.

A big benefit is making very plain, to all partners, what requires consent and what does not.

They are very useful for situations of frequent, low-impact works.

They are not suited to situations of immediate, rapid change.

They do not provide the owner with planning permission, which must be applied for in the usual way.

They reduce the burden of day-to-day bureaucracy.

“This new approach will enable us to save clients’ money, provide a carefully considered approach to the maintenance of their assets and give them more certainty when dealing with listed building consent. Pilot projects have also shown that the communication involved, in setting up a partnership, helps to develop a better relationship between partners. “The implications for many traditional estates are far reaching. Agreements can also be useful for substantial assets or groups of assets such as large principle houses, parks and gardens, historic landscapes, scheduled monuments or combinations of them.”

James Laver

Lucy Back

01823 445030 james.laver @smithsgore.co.uk

01823 445035 lucy.back @smithsgore.co.uk

If you own or manage an estate, then please contact James or Lucy to discuss how this approach could work for you.


Park Life in National Parks Building Why National Parks need development National park authorities are responsible for dealing with planning applications within our National Parks. In addition to the criteria that govern any application, they are keen to ensure that a proposed development preserves or enhances the distinctive character of a location, its wealth of traditional and historic buildings, the fine landscape setting, all of which prompted the original designation. Whilst there is an understandable need to protect the landscape, part of the essential objective for a park authority should be to stimulate and provide for economic activity which enables a park to retain its commercial vibrancy. Many park authorities recognise that a thriving economy is an important component of maintaining local communities. There is general support for farming, forestry and shooting, which are recognised as key elements of the rural fabric. Generally, park authorities are supportive of appropriate development of modern agricultural buildings, although issues of location, finishes and screening to minimise visual impact can add to cost.

local occupancy codes can be frustrating. There is no reason why residential development within parks cannot be governed by a Section 106 planning obligation to ensure that purchasers intend to reside in the property as their sole or principal residence. That would encourage inward migration from those wishing or needing to live in a park, without restricting the occupancy of new housing to local occupiers, which is frequently restricted to a parish or ward definition. Whilst park authorities recognise the role renewable energy can play, their focus is normally on the erection or conversion of more efficient buildings. Renewable energy schemes must be of a location, scale and design appropriate to the locality. Solar farms and wind turbines, which are opportunities for land owners elsewhere, are not usually an option within the parks. I think this is reasonable due to the sensitivity of the landscapes, some of which are large-scale and can be damaged by inappropriate development.

Generally relations between parks and landed estates are good. The parks are good at accessing funding to support environmental and job creation schemes, whilst the estates, as key stakeholders, have the reach and expertise to implement them. Within the North York Moors National Park, we recently obtained consent to convert a range of derelict, traditional farm buildings to a new farmhouse, together with the erection of appropriate new general purpose livestock buildings, to service a 1,000 acre mixed arable and livestock unit. On another site, we have received early encouragement to erect a new livestock building. But there are constraints. Residential property is subject to design codes similar to those in Conservation Areas and strict

Alec Dickson 01904 756306 alec.dickson @smithsgore.co.uk

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Natural capital and agricultural intensification: can we have both? The arguments for increasing demand for food are well publicised and well-understood. By the middle of this century, there will be about a third more mouths on the planet. On top of this, much of the world is becoming richer, leading to dietary transitions, especially around increasing meat and dairy consumption. Finally, the world is getting more urbanised and more people want food that is cheap and convenient. By 2050, demand for food will increase by 60-110%. On the other hand, there is a finite land base. The increase in yields from the green revolution has largely been driven by agricultural changes rather than increasing land under production. As a first approximation, there isn’t much scope to further increase the area of agricultural land globally. If we demand more food and we don’t expand the area of cultivation we need to intensify to produce more yield per unit area.

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But, and it is a big but, the green revolution and the intensification of agriculture have come at a big cost: soils are degraded in many areas, water bodies are polluted, the functioning of marine systems are affected, air quality is reduced leading to human health impacts and biodiversity is lost via land use changes and the use of agricultural chemicals.

Finally, agriculture accounts for about one third of all greenhouse gas emissions, leading to impacts on the functioning of the climate. Many aspects of land use are of value to humans: the land provides food, fuel, forage, fibre, water, flood protection, climate regulation and has a range of cultural values. These goods and services which we value, but many we don’t pay the cost of, are underpinned by environmental and ecological services (“ecosystem services”). These services are like interest accruing from a capital sum in the bank. If we spend the natural capital, eventually the services will decline and fail. The trouble is that it is very easy to reduce the natural capital and assume that it has little current or future impact. Soils can be mined for nutrients and managed in ways that don’t reduce erosion. Fertilisers can be applied to boost yield, but which lead to changes in air quality and affect other nearby vegetation and water quality. Pests can be killed by pesticides, but which also effect pollinators and the pest’s natural enemies, leading to the need for more pesticides. Biodiversity can be eroded bit by bit until populations become extinct locally, regionally and nationally.


Recognising that intensification in the past has often been achieved at a high environmental cost, the argument goes that “if demand is driving us to intensify, we should do it sustainably and preserve the ecosystem services which we value”. “Sustainable intensification” is promoted as the way out of the paradox. But is it possible? Absolutely it’s true that agriculture can do far more to be sustainable. Using resources more efficiently is clearly possible: whether it is applying fertilisers in the right amounts, in the right places and at the right times, or using pesticides to minimise impacts, or using efficient irrigation systems and water storage to avoid unsustainable extraction, or managing soils better. All these are possible, and technology is improving all the time to help. However, going beyond “reducing the harm” to “improving the natural capital” costs either in investment or in profits foregone: land needs to be set aside and managed as habitat for biodiversity, forests not converted to produce yields, soils to be invested in and so on. Organic farming, for many seen as a practice that protects natural capital best, yields 50-80% of conventional intensive practices. Were we really to produce food as sustainably as possible, it would require farming in ways

similar to organic farming, but with some land taken out of production to provide sufficient habitat at the landscape scale. So can we have both intensification and natural capital? Where demand goes unchecked, there will always be economic drivers to manage land as profitably as possible. Profit and sustainability do not naturally go hand in hand as sustainability implies forgoing the potential of gains from eroding natural capital: “I’d like to be more sustainable but can’t afford to”. Until we recognise that the cost of food is subsidised by the environment and find ways to compensate for the damage to the environment, economic drivers will trump sustainability. The tragedy of the commons, acted out over time, is with us still.

Professor Tim Benton UK Champion for Global Food Security & Professor of Population Ecology, University of Leeds

The tragedy of the commons is a dilemma arising from the situation in which multiple individuals, acting independently and rationally behaving in their own self-interest, will ultimately deplete a shared limited resource even when it is clear that it is not in anyone’s long-term interest for this to happen. This dilemma was first described in an influential article titled “The Tragedy of the Commons,” written by Garrett Hardin and first published in the journal Science in 1968.

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Can you replace nature? Creating offest sites could triple the value of your land

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Dr Jason Beedell Head of Research 01733 866562 jason.beedell @smithsgore.co.uk


Biodiversity offsets are conservation activities to produce wildlife gains to compensate for wildlife losses due to development. It is a method to try to ensure that there is no long-term residual net loss in wildlife. At its simplest, it is replacing lost butterfly habitat at a development site with as much or more elsewhere. The Government has committed to introduce a biodiversity offsetting system in England as soon as possible. More than 25 countries have systems in place, including Australia, US, Germany and India, and in many of them, a financial market for offsets has developed. The principles of the English system are in the box below. Of more interest is whether we can replace nature this way. Is one squashed newt worth one bat, or two? And what kind of bat? And where should they be? Based on the responses of key organisations – Natural England, Country Land and Business Association, National Farmers’ Union, RSPB and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors – the answer is that we can replace nature but only if the scheme has an ‘intelligent design’. All of the organisations see value in the principle of offsetting – if it is done properly. There is a consensus that the mitigation hierarchy is followed - any damage to wildlife is first avoided,

then mitigated and only offset as a last resort. There is also agreement that offsetting should not weaken the protection of habitats that cannot be recreated, such as ancient woodlands. A number of the bodies state that the requirement to offset loss is mandatory, so a developer cannot opt out of it. But the Government wants developers to be able to choose between using the existing regime of section 106 and other agreements and offsetting. In terms of operation, it is widely agreed that the system must strike that difficult balance between being fit for purpose, and simple to administer and monitor, with a public register of offsets to ensure transparency and avoid double-selling. The NFU and CLA are the most concerned about the impact on land rights; they view it as a new ‘service’ provided by land but its success will depend on how much suitable land is provided by landowners for offsetting. Our view is that offsetting could be a major opportunity for landowners – if the financial return is right. If landowners are not willing to provide sites for the payments and legal requirements offered, there will be no market. It could become a key element of development schemes, and generate significant revenues. An existing offsetting scheme on the Thames Basin Site of Special Scientific Interest has resulted in its offsetting sites, called Suitable Alternative Natural Green Space (SANGS) and Strategic Access Management Space (SAMS), more than tripling in value.

How the proposed offsetting system will work 1.

Offsetting will become part of the planning system for applications above a threshold.

2.

Planning authorities will apply the biodiversity mitigation hierarchy to firstly avoid harm, secondly mitigate it and then finally use offsetting to compensate for any remaining biodiversity losses. They will agree the amount of loss that needs to be compensated with the developer.

3.

The Government wants developers to be able to choose how to compensate for losses, either through offsetting or the existing regime of section 106 and other agreements.

4. If permission is granted, the developer must provide the same number of offsets as ‘biodiversity units’ lost, which are calculated based on the distinctiveness and quality of the habitat affected. 5.

Providers of offsets, such as landowners, do a similar calculation of the number of units they can provide, based on distinctiveness and quality, and also risk, time and location.

6.

The Government is concerned that offsets are only provided on sites that lead to genuine net biodiversity gain so there will be detailed rules on issues like whether land coming out of an agri-environment scheme or land which produces biodiversity as a by-product, such as land used for a Sustainable Urban Drainage scheme, is eligible.

7.

Offsetting can be used where protected species, such as bats and Great Crested Newts, are affected but there will be special rules.

8. The offsets must last long-term as most development is assumed to be permanent. This will be done through covenants attached to property deeds, management agreements and possibly introducing mechanisms to secure offsets against provider failure.

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“We have to catch up with what they’re doing in Africa”

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Nine farmers, managers and professionals were chosen for a 1,400 km tour of seven farm businesses, crossing the equator eight times. Smiths Gore Associate Consultant Susie Emmett, of specialist agricultural communications company Green Shoots, organised the “Catching Up with Kenya” tour in November 2013 to see what’s impressive in agriculture in this part of Africa. On farm walks and tours and in detailed discussions with farmers, entrepreneurs, scientists and journalists they had an intense and inspirational time. Three of the group share their impressions:

Andrew Burgess, Director of Agriculture, Produce World “Mind expanding. That’s how I rate this trip. I’ve been impressed by the can-do attitude of the Kenyan farmers and farm managers who are highly trained and motivated. The science and energy driving the research and development of bio-pesticides is a real inspiration. They’ve got fresh and highly promising solutions to some of the most pressing pest and productivity problems that we face in farming back in the UK. They prove that there are simple solutions. I am hoping that I can liaise with them to have trials of their products in UK fields and crops. We have to catch up with what they’re doing in Africa. “Like many farmers, I had doubts about what Fairtrade really meant on a label. Having visited Ravine Roses and heard how the 10% premium they get on each bunch of flowers goes straight to the community organisation which decides, with the whole community, how it should be invested, I can say I now ‘get’ Fairtrade. I’ve seen how wisely the villagers are investing in classrooms, and a community centre. It’s been great to see farming appreciated as a driver of change for the better.”

Jamie Lockhart, Farm Manager, Honingham Thorpe Farms “There is a lot in attitude and also in technique that is relevant to my farming at two estates in Norfolk. “Soil and water conservation in Kenya is key in order to be able to produce the highest quality of crops. At Finlay’s Ibis Farm on Mount Kenya we saw how they are precisely fine-tuning their rainwater harvesting storage to be able to irrigate a widening range of vegetables and herbs. The attention to detail at the start of the supply chain was fascinating. At Ravine Roses, their waste water treatment with a succession of planted pools and winding channels to slow and naturally purify water from the greenhouses for re-use was really inspiring. Every dimension of the farm is integrated. They keep that simple principle in mind. Waste water treatment is something I want to develop on the farms in Norfolk.”

Charles Bracey, Farming company director and founding director of Yaregrain PLC “In farming in England I feel many of us get set in our ways; this trip to Kenya has given me the chance to meet farmers who certainly are not. They have the energy and ingenuity to face up to problems and find creative solutions. I came to Kenya well aware it’s a country where there’s malnutrition and poor health. That’s what makes exporting food and flowers to an affluent region like Europe seem unfair. But now I know that the Kenyan economy is one of the fastest growing in Africa. There are lots of farming businesses driving that growth. “The best and careful use of resources – water, soil, materials and money is inspiring. Seeing vertical food gardens – growbags of high nutrient leafy vegetables – which can supply a family of five with essential nutrients year round – that’s a great idea. Hydroponic fodder production and vermiculture and anaerobic digesters: it’s all cutting edge stuff and in Kenya it’s working large-scale and at a household level.”

This course has been supported through the Rural Development Programme for England which is jointly funded by DEFRA and the European Union. Following on from the success of this Smiths Gore tour, another AgriTour Kenya is planned for February 2014. If you want to be considered please contact either Susie Emmett or Michael Mack.

Susie Emmett susie@green-shoots.org

Michael Mack 01638 665848 michael.mack@smithsgore.co.uk

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Fracking - let’s be clear, the picture is not clear ‘After taking advice from Sussex Police, Cuadrilla is temporarily scaling back drilling operations… our main concern is the safety of our staff, Balcombe’s residents and the protesters following threats of direct action against the exploration site. We plan to resume full operations as soon as it is safe to do so’ Cuadrilla Resources, August 2013

With a moniker sounding so violent, ugly, and suggestive, fracking can’t be a good thing, can it? Communities enraged, buildings damaged by seismic waves, and water resources polluted. What’s not to loathe? And why would any level headed landowner want to get involved?

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Errrm, well, it’s not quite that straightforward. Hang on a second, somebody’s turned the lights out. Oh, that’s better, just a temporary disruption to imported natural gas by President Putin. What’s natural gas got to do with the lights being on anyway? Quite a bit actually. 35% of all UK energy consumed in 2012 came from natural gas, of which 25% went to the creation of electricity. Ah, but we’ve got the North Sea, haven’t we? Well, sort of. That’s the problem with fossil fuels, they run out. North Sea gas peaked in 2000 and in 2012 it was 11% down on the previous year. Tricky. In fact, downright concerning. Ok, it is clear that it’s complicated. What’s less clear are the merits of fracking as an alternative. Fracking (hydraulic fracturing) is fracturing deep shale rock using explosives. Fluid is then pumped in under extreme pressure to drive the natural gas out for collection. The fluid is mostly water and sand (98%) but the remaining 2% can contain highly toxic chemicals, including mercury, lead and uranium. The fears about water supply contamination

then become apparent. And people are worried about earthquakes. Let’s be clear though, the picture is not clear – to anyone, including the Government and the scientific community. Earlier this year the Royal Society and the Royal Society of Engineers concluded that the health and safety risks from fracking could be safely managed. So far, so good. Furthermore, natural gas produces less CO2 compared with coal, which must be a good thing. Well, unfortunately, the report did not focus on the impact of so called ‘fugitive emissions’, which are leaks of methane during the process. Air quality tests in Detroit found methane levels 4% higher than normal, attributed to fracking. Methane is 72 times more damaging than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas. If this is factored in, unconventionally sourced natural gas is just as dirty as coal. Enter the greens. As well as pollution and wider diffuse damage, they say that fracking feeds our energy consumption; it only staves off the day when we have to face the reality we cannot carry on as we are. There is truth in these observations but also a Malthusian delight in the apocalyptic forecast. More than blind faith, a change in behaviour and renewable energy options are needed. Robust, hard scientific solutions are needed to solve our energy mix challenge.


But this isn’t the way the water is running. Witness the recent tax breaks announced by George Osborne for exploratory activity into shale reserves of up to 10 years. Note David Cameron suggesting green taxes on energy are likely to be scaled back. In short, national energy security is being prioritised over climate change. Depressing for the greens, perhaps to the detriment of us all, but not surprising given energy price increases and realpolitik. We expect therefore that the pressure for home grown shale gas is going to grow but there are obstacles to this happening. John Dutson from Smiths Gore’s minerals team thinks there needs to be more clarity on the planning process; if the decision is that planning consent needs to be applied for by all parties owning the surface over any horizontal drilling operations, the planning fee could top the scale at £250,000. Eye watering in its own right, even before the costs of the planning application are taken into account. John explains that advice is going to be required on the valuation of the assets. Let’s not forget that within the UK the shale reserves are technically the property of the Crown and the landowners only own the crust covering them. He quite rightly points out that if landowners’ share of the cake is to be limited to a surface rental, and there is some precedent for this, then they are hardly going to be incentivized to engage. There is a further difficulty in the short life span of the operations. Most of the gas is recovered in the first year or so and a well can be expected to be worked out within 7-8 years. This means small compounds hopping across the surface. This may be acceptable in the US but is likely to be tested in

the UK with its complex mosaic of landownership and a high population density. But let’s not forget that money talks. The UK Onshore Operators Group for gas has produced a framework for community engagement and, much as with onshore wind, there is an expectation that the industry will need to direct money arising from shale exploitation into affected communities. Sums of the magnitude of £5 - 10m are being mooted. It’s in areas of more consolidated landownership, such as estates, that the efforts are likely to be focused. Despite oil and gas prices stabilising due to slack economic demand, which was not forecast, in the longer-term prices and CO2 emissions are still predicted to rise dramatically. Europe’s energy dependency on supplies from the Middle East and Russia will increase, creating physical and political insecurity. The UK’s shale gas reserves are going to be eyed greedily and landowners are going to need to decide where they stand on one of the most pressing issues of our times.

Thomas Stanley 01620 828968 thomas.stanley @smithsgore.co.uk

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Food security depends on water security 22 Water is tricky – it seems like there is either too much of it or too little and it is never in the right place. Shortages in drought years and increasing demand from houses, business and farming is putting pressure on the current system. The Government says that control of the water supply is becoming more complicated. For our businesses, the message is clear: national food security depends on national water security. If you have read the articles from Professor Tim Benton and Peter Kendall, both of which state the importance of ‘sustainable intensification’, it is clear that capturing and using water more efficiently has to be the right thing to do. And it also affects things you might not expect. For example, Thomas Stanley’s article on shale gas mentions fracking is very water intensive, as only 20-40% of the water used returns to the surface as flowback, which cannot then be reused. It is going to be more difficult for land managers to secure the water needed for food production in the future. But rather than ‘stick’, I think ‘carrot’, through incentives, is the right approach for policy matters to take. Land managers need innovative, efficient approaches to water management if they want to retain their rights to use it. It can also generate new income streams. Building storage reservoirs could be one of the best investments for farms and estates. As well as having a more secure supply of water to produce quality and quantity of crops, the water could also be traded. Water trading in the UK has failed so far,

with only around 50 trades in the 10 years since the Water Act 2003. The current system is too restrictive but we are sure it will be reformed. Another area for reform is abstraction licencing, which allows the holder to take a certain amount of water at a certain time of the year. Although farmers hold two-thirds of licences nationally, they take less than 1% of water abstracted. A small proportion but farming businesses must have plans that, like other users, demonstrate that they are using this valuable resource efficiently and that they have the ability to adapt, potentially changing cropping in drought years. Water security and trading is going to become more important for land management in the future. Michael Wooldridge leads our Maidstone office in Kent and works throughout the south east. He is a member of the Kent Rural Board Water Task Group and is involved with East Malling Research, the world renowned research station for fruit related sciences. He also manages The Crown Estate’s Romney Marsh, with a number of potato and vegetable growers.

Michael Wooldridge 01732 879052 michael.woolridge @smithsgore.co.uk


The answer is blowin’ in the wind New planning guidance for turbines should calm the storm around wind farms The UK has the best wind resources in Europe and wind energy projects can be successful, profitable ventures that supply clean and affordable electricity to our homes1. The carbon payback for onshore wind is between 3 and 12 months and a standard 2 MW turbine (blade diameter of 80m) can produce enough energy to power over 1,000 typical homes. The Government’s own forecasts suggest that wind energy is better value than nuclear energy as it will receive about the same subsidy per kilowatt-hour (9.5p for wind v 9.25p for nuclear) but only for 15 years compared with 35 years2. Despite, or maybe because of, the planning system in place to ensure wider energy and carbon emission targets are balanced against local issues, the siting of turbines remains a contentious issue. Around half of applications are rejected or withdrawn, compared with fewer than 20% of ‘general’ rural planning applications. Smaller turbines can fall under ‘permitted development rights’ but in England blade diameters are limited to less than 2.2 metres and in Scotland domestic scale turbines are limited by conditions such as a minimum distance to the curtilage of another dwelling of 100 metres. Recent changes to the planning system aim to increase the appropriateness of future schemes. Some of these improvements are highlighted here. There is now a greater emphasis on community engagement and local financial benefits, which is good news as these aspects were the foundations of the success of the pioneering Danish market. In England, measures from the end of 2013 will ensure new schemes involving more than 2 turbines, or any turbine over 15 metres tall, are consulted on with the local community before any planning application is submitted. “Wind is an important part of the UK’s energy mix, and both government and industry agree that these proposals will ensure that new turbines are appropriately sited”. Michael Fallon (Energy Minister) Business rates payable by operators will go directly to the local planning authority and community benefits packages should

Dr Alan Harries Head of Sustainability 0207 409 9490 alan.harries @smithsgore.co.uk 1 2

See my book on Urban Wind Energy published by Earthscan in 2009 Based on ‘strike prices’ under the new contracts for difference (CFDs) subsidy scheme

increase fivefold to £5,000/MW (MegaWatts) per year. The Government is also committed to the development of a Community Energy Strategy. In Scotland, the Government is encouraging schemes to offer discounted electricity to locals. They are also aiming to reach a target of 500 MW of community and locally-owned renewable energy by 2020. To assist, incentives such as the Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) offers loans for the pre-planning costs for schemes owned by locals and communities. There is more and better government-backed evidence on the impacts of wind energy developments, with more case studies of planning policies for local authorities to use. The English Government will also issue updated planning guidance to supplement the national Planning Practice Guidance for Renewable and Low Carbon Energy published in July 2013. The Scottish Government also produced a suite of guidance in July 2013 to reflect its latest advice and best practice examples. The English Government will ‘call in’ more projects, including smaller schemes below 50 MW, to ensure the new planning framework is being followed; this has, however, caused some uncertainty in the market. Wind energy schemes will remain controversial but these changes should help ensure they are more sensitive to local needs without falling prey to unsubstantiated objections. Onshore Wind Turbine Planning Applications (England, 2012) Number of applications

Installed Capacity (MegaWatts)

Approved

215 (52%)

1,893 MW

Rejected

115 (28%)

830 MW

Withdrawn

84 (20%)

321 MW

Total

414 (100%)

3,044 MW


Downs on the up 24 10,370 hectares; £550k+ funding over three years; maintenance and restoration of chalk grassland and downland, farmland birds; launched April 2012

Credit - David White

The inside story of the Marlborough Downs Nature Improvement Area Only one farmer-led application to set up a Nature Improvement Area was successful – the Marlborough Downs NIA, which is a partnership between the farmers in the area, The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust and Wiltshire Council. Arthur Witchell, a partner in our Cirencester office, is on the NIA’s Farmer Board and is a trustee of an estate in the NIA. “There has been real enthusiasm amongst the farming community and we expect this farmer-led, bottom-up approach will lead to far greater and more wide-reaching benefits as a result of the feeling of “ownership” of the project. “Six key objectives have been agreed, including improving ecological networks and re-connecting people to the landscape. Water is a scarce commodity so we want to create a necklace of dewponds for wildlife, linked by wildflower corridors, which will also help butterfly numbers. We also want to create nesting and feeding habitats for farmland birds, and set aside areas for arable plants.

and bridleways across the NIA so people can see some of the things the project is doing. “The project is also about spreading best practice and providing training. We want the Downs to be recognised as a centre of excellence for wildlife management. “Our successes to date have influenced DEFRA’s thinking on the New Environmental Land Management Scheme, which will replace the Higher Level and Entry Level Scheme. We are now starting to consider how our farmer-led model can be used elsewhere.” The Government funded 12 Nature Improvement Areas in 2012 as pilots to see how landscape-scale conservation could work. NIAs were part of the Government’s Natural Environment White Paper (2011) and responded to calls for bigger, better and more joined up conservation in the Lawton Review (2010).

Arthur Witchell “We have already produced a plan, identified key wildlife sites and started to sow seed and make changes on the ground. Improvements are being carried out on 18 miles of footpaths

01285 888006 arthur.witchell @smithsgore.co.uk


Future of farming review David Fursdon, Chair of the Future of Farming Review, appraises what has happened since its publication in July It is now very expensive to start farming, at least in part due to the inexorable rise in land values and impact of the CAP. Lip service had been paid to new entrants over the years with few practical solutions. Our Review examined the role of ‘new entrants’ in helping the UK to achieve sustainable intensification of agricultural production in England. Our general conclusions included properly assessing the number of new entrants required and the adequacy of training for them, the need to improve the image of the industry, the need for young aspiring farmers to consider working for others to build capital and experience rather than thinking that they need to start their own business immediately, the distorting effect on progression due to the CAP and the confusion created by the many, well-meaning initiatives in this area that often cut across each other or are too small to make a significant difference. To address this last point we were keen to ask existing bodies to take forward some of our recommendations: Recommendations

Agents of change

Training and skills initiatives

Agri-skills Forum

Education initiatives

FACE and Brightcrop

Landlord and tenant initiatives

Tenancy Reform Industry Group

Matching service of land to new entrants

Young Farmers

Planning, affordable housing and agricultural ties

Homes and Communities Agency Rural Housing Group (with the LGA)

Retirement and succession issues

Special seminar

Tax initiatives

HM Government Treasury

Initiatives through the Rural Development Programme (which is Pillar 2 of the CAP)

HM Government Defra

The role of County Council farms

HM Government Defra

Industry leadership and coherence

Royal Agricultural Society of England and St George’s House

Smiths Gore’s contribution to and engagement with the Review has been very helpful, bringing real experience of the issues to the debate. They recognise however, as I do, that it is not easy for young entrepreneurs particularly from outside the industry to enter agriculture but then, perhaps, that isn’t a bad thing as we need the best and they are often the ones who do succeed!

David Fursdon 01823 446985 david.fursdon @smithsgore.co.uk


Health and Safety comes home 26

Domestic building projects will fall under building industry safety rules for the first time, if proposed changes to the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations come into effect as expected in 2014 The new Regulations set out who is legally responsible for health and safety on projects to try to reduce the risk of injuries. This means that there is a ‘responsible person’ for health and safety. This is usually a health and safety specialist in early project stages, often called a CDM Co-ordinator, and the ‘builder’ once construction starts. But this is not always the case so we recommend that there is a written record of who is responsible. The reason for the change is to bring the Regulations in line with EU law and Ireland has already made the change for its domestic projects.

In practical terms, although the ‘responsible person’ will change, it will make little difference to professionally managed construction projects, where health and safety requirements are already clearly understood. What it will change are less professional works by making management of risks more explicit and hopefully reducing accident rates. Our building surveyors around the UK are already hearing about more accidents as less experienced workers are employed as the amount of construction work picks up after the recession. We will know more in early 2014.

We expect that both project planning and construction work must comply with all of the Regulations if it: •

Requires more than one contractor on site, or

Takes more than 30 days or 500 hours, or

Involves demolition

Dan Coston 01733 559317 dan.coston @smithsgore.co.uk


Staying alive Simple steps to keep planning permissions alive All planning permissions have a finite life and the default period is three years. If they are not implemented before their expiry date they are lost.

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In addition, in many cases, once a permission is granted, planning policy changes and usually, apart from recently, becomes more restrictive or costly. More affordable housing or planning obligations are often required which can significantly reduce the value of a permission, so preserving value is another reason to keep permissions alive. This has been particularly important since the downturn in 2008 where many commercial and residential sites have not been marketed or sold due to market conditions. So what do you have to do to implement a permission before its expiry date and thus preserve it? 1.

Discharge all pre-commencement conditions.

2.

Carry out works that are considered ‘material operations’ by the Planning Act, which typically means demolition, digging for foundations, laying underground pipes, constructing part of a road or a change in use of the land.

After carrying out material operations, it is recommended that written confirmation of implementation is obtained from the local authority; you may need to push but note that they are under no obligation to provide it and an advisory letter cannot be legally relied upon.

A solution is to obtain a Certificate of Lawful Existing Development or CLEUD1, which is a statutory process confirming the implementation, which can be used after the ‘expiry date’ to support site sales, valuations or simply to provide confidence that a permission has been banked permanently. We have successfully done this for clients. For one client, a CLEUD confirming that a small area of road sub base constituted implementation secured a 1,000 house planning permission, and we have used the same technique for small development sites and extensions to country houses. The message is clear – there are ways to keep permissions alive long-term although, despite the apparently simple process, this is an area that needs specialist planning input to ensure that the CLEUD is as water-tight as possible. 1

Under Section 191 of the Planning Act in England and Section

150 in Scotland

Ian Smith Head of Planning 01733 559320 ian.smith @smithsgore.co.uk

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Why rural broadband is essential

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Ofcom overall view of broadband 1 Highest/Best

2

3

4

5 Lowest/Worst


Ever since the technology came to the fore back in 2001, broadband has been seen as vital to the success of the rural economy. It has been characterised as being the revolution of the 21st century, in much the same way as the railways in the 19th and the car in the 20th century. It is the vital fourth utility, alongside, water, gas and electricity. But despite the number of ‘rollouts’ of various forms of broadband, it is still the case that it is not ubiquitous for rural areas. This has created the ‘rural-urban digital divide’ where broadband infrastructure providers have associated increased profit with the city dweller. Although getting narrower, the divide is still in place. That is why the CLA has been campaigning on broadband for over a decade. We recognise its importance and want to see the enormous benefits shared out to everyone. The ultimate aim of broadband has to be universal coverage at a speed which suits both the rural business and rural society. Of course, this speed will vary, depending on the use to which broadband is put but, in practical terms, it has to be at least 2Mbps. At this speed, the variety of functions required by the majority of rural businesses can be met. However, the current situation remains distinctly murky. Although the Government made its commitment to a massive rollout of superfast broadband (speeds of over 24Mbps) back in 2011, its own deadline of hitting 90% penetration across the country by 2015 will not be met.

Indeed, it is still very much the case that over 10% of those in rural areas still have no access to a decent fixed line broadband service. Only limited progress is being made and the isolated rural community will not see an effective and affordable broadband connection for some time to come. The Government’s strategy of asking the local authorities to procure a universal service has not been a roaring success. This is confirmed by the recent reports from the National Audit Office and the Public Accounts Select Committee. Indeed, the very strategy employed by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), the Government’s delivery arm, was flawed from the very start when it called for preferred bidders. Of the seven that originally applied, only one, that being BT, remains and, of course, it is BT that is winning all the broadband contracts. As far as the CLA is concerned, the current situation is unacceptable. Of course, the allocation of public funds, some £1.3bn for rural broadband, is welcome but the delivery has been shambolic. Defra’s Rural Community Broadband Fund (RCBF) that was intended to reach the final 10% of rural areas, will only reach 2% and even then, there is no guarantee that remote rural areas will benefit. Effective and reliable broadband is our future and ensuring that there is broadband for all is imperative for the rural economy and rural communities. Without it, not only are we doing a major disservice to our rural communities, we are also depriving rural business of the one tool that can drive them forward to success.

Dr Charles Trotman Senior Business & Economics Adviser CLA charles.trotman@cla.org.uk

Fibre farm Although broadband remains poor in many rural areas, as Charles has explained, a farm we recently advised in eastern England was different to many as it had an external fibre connection for broadband. Our role, with partners Broadband Vantage, was to complete the connections needed to service its cluster of commercial buildings used for offices, training and distribution, and to appoint a firm to operate the broadband service on behalf of the owner. We surveyed and fitted out the existing network of ducts so that each building had a fibre cable and patching and switching facilities. We then recruited a local service provider to

ensure that the tenants were receiving the broadband service they needed and who also deals with customer service and collecting payments. The service is now live. The next phase is to use the existing equipment to provide a community wireless broadband service.

Ben Knight Head of Rural Commercial Broadband 01285 888008 ben.knight @smithsgore.co.uk

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Projects you may not expect us to be involved in Edinburgh Installed 800kW biomass boiler in Hopetoun House, Scotland’s finest stately home

Dumfries Led successful planning application for Star of Caledonia at the border at Gretna

30 Clitheroe Negotiating property rights for one of the largest offshore wind farms in the world Carlisle Saving squirrel Nutkin: managing woods to preserve red squirrel colonies

Ferry ‘cross the Mersey: lease landing pontoons for the main ferry on the Mersey

Lichfield Digitally mapping the Ol Jogi estate in Kenya Cirencester Superfast broadband: technical solutions to get businesses onto the superfast highway

Marlborough Dr Jackson’s Natural Products: renting HQ to this growing, unusual business

Taunton Moving 200,000t of soil from a bypass across an estate to create a new storage lake Truro Designed and project managed £3m block of apartments on and over the river in Falmouth

Exeter Advising on opening the third largest tungsten (and tin) mine in the world


Perth 300 acres of photovoltaic solar panels in Perthshire

Fochabers Santa’s little helpers: managing a reindeer farm

Berwick-upon-Tweed Releasing land from Newcastle’s green belt for 500 - 1,000 houses

Corbridge High voltage: negotiating easements for windfarm export cable

Darlington Lead consultants on a 300 house urban extension, Sedgefield

York Promoting 185 acres for mixed residential and commercial development, Malton

31 Lincoln Community Land Trust: helping build more affordable houses in the East Midlands

Peterborough Scrapyard challenge: planning problem solving so a scrap business can continue

Newmarket Flood defence: moving services at Ipswich Docks affected by flood defence works

London Promoting 3,000 houses, south east Cambridge

Maidstone Selling Morrisons, ALDI and KFC

Winchester Come on you Gunners: we managed the farmland that became Arsenal’s training ground in Hertfordshire

Petworth Heathrow airport: renewal of lease for sign at entrance to Terminal 1 Oxford St John the Evangelist: selling the church – after 146 viewings and 45 offers


The great housing shortage With land, capital and business experience, landowners can play a central role in solving the UK’s housing crisis It is widely acknowledged that the UK is facing a housing crisis, affecting individuals and communities. In England, over 1.7 million households are currently waiting for social housing and more than 7 million homes don’t meet the Decent Homes Standard. In Scotland, 185,000 are on local authority waiting lists and over half of social housing is below the Scottish Housing Quality Standard. In Wales, 40% of homes do not meet the Welsh Housing Quality Standard. There is a huge undersupply of family-sized properties, house building remains too low and demographic changes, such as the growth in older people, are adding to the strain. 120,000 too few houses are built in England each year.

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The Government claims its welfare reforms, including the limit on the number of bedrooms housing benefit will help pay for, the so-called ‘bedroom tax’, are part of the solution, although many housing bodies would disagree. The National Housing Federation says the limit disproportionately affects rural communities and forces claimants to move, to the detriment of community stability. The Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee has called for settlements of fewer than 3,000 people to be excluded from the limit. One positive sign is that the majority of bodies suggesting solutions to the crisis generally agree that a significant increase in the number of homes is needed. Looking at the home building process from the start:

Demands Planning must be reformed to stimulate more house building, and the reforms monitored

Advocates The Centre for Economic Performance Home Builders Federation

Up to 1.5 million new homes could be built on brownfield sites

The Campaign to Protect Rural England

Greenfield sites may need to be built upon

CLA

The need for social and affordable housing must be addressed

Town and Country Planning Association National Housing Federation

House prices are too high because we are not building enough homes

National Institute of Economic and Social Research

Government must implement schemes, such as Help to Buy, carefully to avoid excessive house price rises

International Monetary Fund

The landowners’ role Landowners have land to build on and access to capital. They also have the development and management experience that is crucial to planning and building new homes. Rural communities could greatly benefit from any assistance given by landowners. New affordable homes allow young people to stay (and work) in rural areas. Landowners can take the lead and work to ensure truly sustainable communities are built. At the Labour Party Conference, Ed Miliband said he may force landowners to free up land for development. Rather than being forced, landowners would do better to offer themselves as a solution to the crisis. Key findings of Smiths Gore Research for the Lincolnshire Rural Affordable Housing Partnership •

Over 65% of landowners would consider putting a site forward for affordable housing

Approach landowners as commercial businessmen, not social entrepreneurs

Making the process straightforward will encourage more owners to release sites

A site must generate a significant sum (£100 - 150,000 or more) due to the effort made

Estates usually want to retain ownership of sites while farmers are more willing to sell

Robert Chapman is the newest member of our research team and brings a different perspective on issues using his sociology background. Robert Chapman Research Assistant 01733 559344 robert.chapman@smithsgore.co.uk


Eastern promise John Coleman, our head of Scottish Farms and Estates, considers why the value of farmland in the east of Scotland is 20 - 30% less than in the east of England? There is little demand from private or institutional investors and less demand from non-farming buyers, unlike in England. Therefore Scottish values are based on farming profitability and demand is predominantly from existing farming businesses looking to grow. Values are at a level that farmers consider financially viable for farming. We expect investors to look at Scotland if opportunities in England lessen but this won’t be until after the independence referendum in September 2014 and land reform is resolved at the earliest. Long-term, the predicted changes in climate make eastern Scotland look a better bet.

Average arable land values

East of Scotland

East of England

700 – 1,500mm

Average rainfall

Higher, which can cause crop establishment and harvest challenges

500 – 1,000mm

Mean temperature

6 – 8 oC

9 – 11 oC

Average sunshine

1,100 – 1,500 hours

1,550 hours

Growing season days

240 – 270 days

270 – 290 days

Higher rainfall

Lower rainfall causing summer soil moisture deficits

Higher mean temperature, but still moderate

Increased demand for water in an already water stressed area

Longer growing season

Higher mean temperature, but still moderate

Climate change prediction

Longer growing season

Population density

0.73 people per acre

1 person per acre

Sources: Nomis, National Records of Scotland, Land Registry, Registers of Scotland, Met Office, www.scotland.gov.uk www.sustainabilityeast.org.uk

John Coleman Head of Scottish Farms and Estates 0131 344 0881 john.coleman @smithsgore.co.uk


Property market review Farmland still on the up The land market has followed the weather patterns for 2013 - a slow start to the year, which continued the poor supply of 2012, which then led to a late spring and early summer of promise but failed to deliver anything out of the ordinary. Around 110,000 acres will be marketed in England this year, which is well up on 2012’s historic low of 90,000 acres but still down on 2011’s 128,000 acres, which we thought was very low at the time. Scottish sales will be about the same as in 2012 at 40,000 acres. The result of this scarcity is continued upward pressure on values as demand remains strong. Values have risen by 5% in the year to the end of 3Q2012, from £9,000 to 9,500 per acre in England and £6,500 to 7,000 for Scotland.

34 34

The key driver for the market has been good quality bare land allowing those with existing farming operations to expand or investors to acquire without the burden of maintaining buildings and fixed equipment. It has risen by 9% on average from £6,600 to 7,200 per acre and 5% in Scotland (£5,000 to 5,500). The price differential between the very best land and average land has grown further this year. Interest continues to increase for equipped holdings where there is an attractive house it needs to be carefully lotted and

managed to ensure residential and agricultural aspirations are met. Equipped land has increased by 4%, from £9,600 to 10,000 per acre. This has eroded the equipped land premium over bare land during the last two years to £2,800 per acre compared with £3,400 in 2011. There are still considerable premiums for large (1,000+ acre) units but there were only three sales of more than 750+ acres marketed during the summer in the whole of the UK. Another significant shift in the market is investment sales for let land where traditional institutional investors are being challenged by individual long-term investors; the competition has driven yields to below 1.5% for good quality arable land. This is not the case however in Scotland where the investment market is on hold whilst the independence referendum and land reform take their course. Despite the rising market, we have noticed a difference in purchasers compared with two or three years ago. They are increasingly discerning and not prepared to compromise if a property does not meet all of their requirements. Knowledge is, therefore, absolutely vital in understanding the market and our network of offices throughout the UK is key to supplying the latest market intelligence to our agency teams.

Farmland values in England (£/acre)

10,000 8,000 6,000 4,000 2,000 0 07Q1

08Q1

09Q1 Bare land

Giles Wordsworth Head of Farms and Estates Agency 01865 733302 giles.wordsworth @smithsgore.co.uk

10Q1 Equipped land

11Q1

12Q1

13Q1

All land

Dr Jason Beedell Head of Research 01733 866562 jason.beedell @smithsgore.co.uk


Agricultural rents rising England and Wales

Scotland

Agricultural rents are rising at the fastest rate since 2007 with reviewed rents for Agricultural Holding Act tenancies having risen by 22% to an average of £70 per acre in the year to April 2013, and Farm Business Tenancies rising by 35%. Rents for new FBTs are 57% higher on average than they were under the previous letting of the holding.

As with our colleagues in England and Wales, the after-effects of last year’s weather are weighing heavily on all parties which has tempered rent review discussions with a sense of realism.

£160

Dairy

£80

£70

16%

47

11,240

£140

Livestock

£48

£40

34%

70

30,702

£120

Mixed

£75

£64

18%

101

23,218

AHA average

£70

£59

22%

298

91,996

Arable

£134

£89

55%

60

11,183

28%

16

4,308

£62

25%

62

9,159

Mixed

£90

£72

28%

53

10,731

FBT average

£101

£75

35%

191

35,381

Arable

£59

£51

15%

8

2,353

Dairy

£49

£46

5%

10

3,006

Livestock

£27

£24

14%

43

24,417

Mixed

£48

£42

16%

19

4,956

Scottish average

£38

£34

13%

80

34,733

Overall average

£76

£61

25%

569

162,109

£60 £40 £20 £0

AHA

FBT

Old rent (£/acre)

Scottish Tenancies

New rent (£/acre)

Stephen Spencer

Toby Metcalfe

England & Wales 01543 266403 stephen.spencer @smithsgore.co.uk

Scotland 0131 344 0885 toby.metcalfe @smithsgore.co.uk

Overall

£82

£76

Scottish Average

£105

£80

Mixed

Dairy Livestock

£100

Dairy

26,835

Livestock

80

Arable

20%

Mixed

£64

FBT Average

£77

Dairy

Arable

Livestock

Area reviewed (ac)

Arable

Number of reviews

Mixed

Percentage change

AHA Average

Old rent (£/acre)

Rent review results by tenancy type in year to April 2013

Dairy

New rent (£/acre)

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Livestock

Scottish tenancies

FBT

AHA

Rent review results by tenancy type in year to April 2013

The story behind the headlines is that landlords and tenants continue to work hand in hand to mutual advantage.

Arable

These figures demonstrate the resilience of the agricultural sector despite significant economic challenges in other sectors. The key drivers in the marketplace are the underlying profitability of land and the relatively limited rental opportunities. Some landlords’ ambitions have been tempered by the poor weather conditions last year but both landlords and tenants are aware that the rents being agreed apply to a wider period and cannot concentrate solely on one bad year. A note of caution is sounded for holdings that are heavily reliant on agrienvironment schemes which are due to expire in 2014/2015 as potentially there will be a 1-2 year period with no grant income or guarantee of future agri-enviroment income. The overall average of £76 per acre – far below many of the headline rents reported – also demonstrates that many factors are taken into account in agreeing rents, including the wish of landlords to support existing tenant businesses.

Rises in rents are a reflection of the inflationary increase experienced over the preceding three year period. Despite last year’s meteorological challenges, the agricultural rental market remains in buoyant mood with an appreciation of continued increases in farming incomes on the back of a growing population. Tenant farmers continue in an optimistic vein with a desire to grow and spread fixed costs.

All


Residential sales show economic recovery is gathering pace Mortgage lending up 33% year-on-year; house prices up 3% in a month and the number of UK house sales about to pass the million mark for the first time since 2007. The recovery is gathering pace at a quite dramatic rate, lending some credibility to the doom-mongers warning of a bubble. There are obviously a lot of factors going on here, but the Help to Buy scheme and the cheapest mortgage rates for a generation are now driving a significant ‘push’ to add to the ‘pull’ of the ever-excited top end market in London. Those of us with enough grey hairs to have seen the boom-bust cycle a few times before and its damaging impact on families across the country, have good reason to be cautious about the euphoria gathering pace. With a significant increase in the supply of houses, sharp price rises seem inevitable. The low interest rates and Help to Buy initiatives will encourage some people into financial commitments that may prove beyond their means when rates rise, as they surely will. For now, we should enjoy the better market - it’s been a long time coming, and in some parts of the UK, it’s yet to have much of an impact. The country house market has been hit especially hard, but all of our offices are reporting increased activity, with competitive bidding for the newest properties, and shortage of stock becoming a real issue. Leading into 2014, we could be in for a frenetic time. We are predicting an increasing trend for Londoners to cash in their chips in the capital for the country life, spreading the benefit of London’s extraordinary growth into the provinces. It’s great to be able to look forward to next year with such positivity, based on hard facts, rather than just fingers crossed.

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Andrew Turner Head of Residential Agency 01904 756303 andrew.turner@smithsgore.co.uk

Equestrian properties in flat season There are no strong national trends so sales are very much on a case-by-case basis at the moment. Demand is good for properties with quality equine facilities even if the house isn’t perfect. However, we feel that there are fewer buyers so marketing at the right price is critical and the best properties still command a premium price. The commercial stud farm market has been slower in 2013. Location is key and we recently sold Longholes Stud, which is in one of the prime positions on the outskirts of Newmarket; its guide price was £4m and there was plenty of interest, including from overseas. Elsewhere some studs have taken longer to sell than expected, which is due to buyers feeling less pushed at the top end to make bids and only being interested in the top quality property. The racing and stud market remains dominated by overseas buyers, who continue to be drawn to the history and world-class facilities of the Home of Racing. We are doing more work for more clients to generate income from their equestrian property. Changes in the planning system, including the National Planning Policy Framework and allowing more change between uses, have increased the opportunity to develop equestrian facilities.

Simon Derby

Sam Tydeman

Head of Equestrian Services 01823 445036 simon.derby@smithsgore.co.uk

Newmarket office 01638 676743 sam.tydeman@smithsgore.co.uk


Residential lettings changes favour tenants I hope for a more settled period, following a raft of changes in the last six months, in England, Scotland and Wales. The changes mean there are even more rigorous demands relating to the protection of tenancy deposits, new regulations about charges made to prospective tenants and the prospect that landlords will be asked to police illegal immigration. Whilst this will inevitably add to the cost of letting residential property, I expect it will drive some unscrupulous operators out of the sector, to the advantage of our clients and us. A challenge for any client that lets accommodation to benefit claimants is the introduction of the Universal Credit, which wraps up six existing benefit entitlements into a single monthly payment, which will be paid direct to claimants. The current common practice where local authorities pay housing benefit to landlords will go and responsibility will transfer to claimants to manage their budget and pay the rent due to their landlord. Most will manage this but for some it will lead to rent arrears. The roll out is by district until 2017. On a seasonal note, as we head into the winter we are busy sending out annual letters to tenants to remind them of their responsibility to care for their homes through the colder weather.

Chris Jowett Head of Residential Lettings 01962 857421 chris.jowett@smithsgore.co.uk

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Forestry forging ahead Timber markets Hardwood Hardwood sawlog prices have remained flat over the past three years although there are now signs of the market picking up as the building trade lifts. There is better demand for hardwood thinnings, in particular larger volumes of beech, ash, sycamore and birch, and their value, for firewood and biofuels markets, are strengthening with standing sale values between £10 - 25 per tonne. In some areas, the amount of timber reaching the market is being constricted by too few woodland contractors to fell it.

3838

Softwood The Coniferous Standing Sales Price Index for Great Britain fell 4.5% in real terms in the year to September 2013 but prices are still more than 10% higher than they were five years ago. Prices for standing trees are between £15 - 30 per tonne, with some prices higher if the trees are close to main markets with good site conditions. A modest improvement in the UK economy combined with favourable exchange rates has maintained the strong demand for conifer sawlogs. Small roundwood demand continues to be underpinned by the biofuels market. In terms of

supply, pests and diseases are a major challenge, particularly the increasing impact of Phytopthora ramorum in larch. The removal of infected areas of larch in Wales and South West Scotland is affecting the balance of supply, potentially leading to localised shortages of whitewood spruce logs which the sawmilling sector is based on. Firewood There is strong demand for firewood with increasing demand for small diameter hardwood thinnings suitable for firewood processors. This is keeping prices strong at £30 - 40 per tonne at roadside and £50 - 60 for delivered firewood lengths. The prices mean that areas of hardwoods that were previously unviable to thin are now being cut, which will help improve the final crop trees.

Forestry values Lowland woodlands Demand for smaller broadleaved woodlands is high, especially around towns and villages, and it also remains strong for larger woodlands. Investors continue to be concerned about plant health issues, notably Chalara dieback of ash and Phytopthora ramorum in larch however demand currently well exceeds supply. While the Forestry Commission has not been selling much in England,

Telecoms signals improvements Mobile ‘not spots’ tackled The Government has appointed a firm, Arqiva, as part of its project to tackle ‘complete mobile not spots’. The Mobile Infrastructure Project aims to improve coverage to the 5-10% of consumers and businesses where there is poor or non-existent 2G1 mobile coverage, which is mainly in remote and rural locations; the effect will be to extend overall coverage to 99% of the UK population.

we expect more private sales to catch the current high prices, which are in the region of £7,500 - 15,000 per hectare for mature commercial woodlands with smaller amenity woodlands achieving considerably higher prices. Commercial woodlands The average value per stocked hectare has remained high despite recent falls in timber prices, which demonstrates investor confidence in the sector. However, the value of areas with a high component of larch and pine has decreased due to concerns over plant health issues. There is strong demand for maturing high yield class spruce forests with prices broadly between £9,000 12,000 per stocked hectare. The drivers of forestry returns, such as future wood supply dynamics anticipating substantial increases in consumption in both the developed and developing economies, timber price, biomass for energy and heat, and a rise in underlying land values, have combined to strengthen demand for forest assets. Andy Greathead Head of Forestry, Woodland and Arboriculture 01620 828979 andy.greathead @smithsgore.co.uk

Connection back to the mobile operators’ networks

Potential to reach sufficient numbers of people

We recommend that landowners take professional advice to ensure that they get the best possible deal from Arqiva or their agents for sites. 2G, introduced in 1992, is the second-

1

generation of mobile telephone technology. It introduced data services, SMS text

Arqiva will find sites and get planning permission for new masts by 2015. Aberdeenshire, Strabane, Northumberland, Powys and Cornwall are the areas covered in Phase 1. Once sites are developed, the four main mobile operators will provide coverage from the sites whilst funding their own operating costs.

messaging and digital encryption of calls. 3G offers faster data transfer and video calls, making it suitable for use in smartphones. 4G provides even higher data transfer rates, suitable for laptops and home internet access.

As for all mast sites, the key criteria are: •

Accessibility

K ay Paton

Proximity to a power source

Head of Telecommunications 01387 274394 kay.paton@smithsgore.co.uk


39

Sporting values shooting up The Scottish sporting estate market has seen a rash of estates on offer, including The Cluny Estate, being sold by our Edinburgh office. This 10,000 acre premier stalking estate is centred around a fully restored castle, offering grouse and ptarmigan shooting, an excellent low ground pheasant shoot and fishing on the upper reaches of the River Spey. It has a commercial farming enterprise and 960 acres of forestry, and is an hour’s drive from Inverness and two hours from Edinburgh. Although next year’s referendum on Scottish independence is making many buyers ‘wait and see’, there is interest in Cluny from across continental Europe. What a different picture in England and Wales. There have been very few true sporting estates for sale on the open market this year but some off-market transactions, including a couple of grouse moors. This shortage only fuels an already pent up demand. The 2013 grouse season has been another good one generally, but more variable across the regions than in recent years. Some

moors have again had record breaking seasons, but others suffered from worrying disease-related problems. The pheasant and partridge seasons have also been productive thus far. The spring and early summer weather conditions were much more favourable than in 2012, leading to good conditions for both reared and wild bird populations of most game birds. We will be running our industry-leading shoot benchmarking exercise again at the end of this shooting season. This allows shoots to compare themselves with others in terms of income and expenditure and make important management decisions. If, either as a private or commercial shoot, you would like to take part please e-mail your contact details to me.

David Steel Head of Sporting 01200 411051 david.steel@smithsgore.co.uk


News in Brief Royal Agricultur al University Fellowship Gerald Fitzgerald, who leads our valuation and investment team, has been awarded the prestigious RAU/RICS annual fellowship in land management. Over the next six months he will research whether investors’ belief in farmland as a counter cyclical investment and their price expectations for farmland are justified.

40

Astley Castle wins RIBA Stirling Prize

Kelly Aldous

The 12th century Astley Castle won this year’s Royal Institute of British Architects Stirling Prize. The Castle remains in the ownership of the Arbury Estate and is let on a long lease to the Landmark Trust. It had stood empty for a number of years since a disastrous fire. The prize is for the best new building and the award is very much the 'Oscars' of architecture. Recognized as a “groundbreaking holiday home”, it was chosen for its extensive re-model, combining a modern interior within the ruins of the original building. Astley Castle beat off competition from the Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre in Northern Ireland and the University of Limerick Medical School building.

Our Stamford office is sponsoring Kelly Aldous, one of the rising stars of the international event circuit. Based just outside Stamford at Newstead Farm, Kelly currently events seven horses. In August she completed her first 3* event at Ballindenisk in Ireland on her own horse, High Garth High Flyer, whom she believes will be good enough to partner her at Burghley. We wish her well.

Business improvement progr amme Our Business Improvement team will be hosting a series of courses in 2014:

Events We will be attending the following events next year where we hope you will join us on our stand: The Royal Cornwall Show 5 - 7 June - The Royal Cornwall Showground, Wadebridge, Cornwall Cereals 11 - 12 June - Chrishall Grange, Near Duxford, Cambridgeshire The Royal Highland Show 19 - 22 June - Ingliston, Edinburgh Scottish Game Fair 4 - 6 July - Scone Palace, Perth CLA Game Fair 18 - 20 July - Blenheim Palace, Woodstock

Family Business Growth Progr amme in Devon and Somerset Since our Summer Newsletter, James Dennis and Simon Derby have been working with farmers, landowners and other family businesses on growth and succession planning. The Programme is the brainchild of Clinton Devon Estates and was instigated to support the Government’s Rural Growth Agenda. Please contact Simon Derby on 01823 445036 or e-mail simon.derby@smithsgore.co.uk

Succession Planning: a one day introduction This is a guide for families embarking on the succession planning process. 14 January - Bridgwater, Somerset 21 January - Sparsholt, Hampshire 30 January - Bilsborrow, Preston, Lancashire Succession Planning: a three day intensive programme This is a detailed workshop for the whole family designed to implement a bespoke succession planning framework. 13 February - venue to be confirmed Leadership Development Designed for key decision makers in growing and diversified land based, food and agricultural businesses. It covers a wide range of business and personal leadership skills - communications, influencing, strategy, market and brand development, change management and policy delivered in a supportive and challenging environment, it equips business leaders to effectively develop successful business growth. 28 - 29 January - venue to be confirmed 5 - 6 March - venue to be confirmed If you would like more details on any of our courses, please contact Michael Mack on 01638 665848 or e-mail michael.mack@smithsgore.co.uk

Please let us know what you think of our newsletter and other publications by e-mailing marketing@smithsgore.co.uk. All correspondents will be entered into a draw for a hamper.


Offices

Estate offices

Abergavenny t 01873 859200

Exeter t 01392 278466

Perth t 01738 479180

Andover t 01264 774900

Fochabers t 01343 823000

Peterborough t 01733 567231

Berwick-upon-Tweed t 01289 333030

Haddington t 01620 828960

Petworth t 01798 345980

Carlisle t 01228 527586

Lichfield t 01543 251221

Stamford t 01780 484696

Cirencester t 01285 888000

Lincoln t 01522 507310

Stow-on-the-Wold t 01451 832832

Clitheroe t 01200 411050

London t 020 7409 9490

Taunton t 01823 445030

Corbridge t 01434 632001

Maidstone t 01732 879050

Truro t 01872 274646

Darlington t 01325 462966

Marlborough t 01672 529050

Winchester t 01962 857400

Dumfries t 01387 263066

Newmarket t 01638 665848

Worcester t 01905 371261

Edinburgh t 0131 344 0888

Oxford t 01865 733300

York t 01904 756300

Alscot Angmering Park Arbury Barlavington Exbury Firle Goodwood Knowsley Leconfield Llanover Scone Windsor

Other offices Pembroke DTE office Sennybridge DTE office

Overseas offices Australia British Virgin Islands

Services Architecture and Building Surveying Terry Adsett | 01798 342642 | terry.adsett@smithsgore.co.uk

Investment Gerald FitzGerald | 020 7409 9492 | gerald.fitzgerald@smithsgore.co.uk

Business Improvement Matthew Currie | 01387 274382 | matthew.currie@smithsgore.co.uk

Minerals and Waste John Dutson | 01962 857408 | john.dutson@smithsgore.co.uk

Commercial Property: City Centre James Dunlop | 020 7290 1611 | james.dunlop@smithsgore.co.uk

Planning Ian Smith | 01733 559320 | ian.smith@smithsgore.co.uk

Development Robert Weldon | 020 7290 1618 | robert.weldon@smithsgore.co.uk

Project and Construction Management Piers Owen | 01872 274646 | piers.owen@smithsgore.co.uk

Equestrian Services Simon Derby | 01823 445036 | simon.derby@smithsgore.co.uk

Property and Lettings Management Christopher Jowett | 01962 857421 | chris.jowett@smithsgore.co.uk

Estate Management Rupert Clark | 01798 345999 | rupert.clark@smithsgore.co.uk

Research Dr Jason Beedell | 01733 866562 | jason.beedell@smithsgore.co.uk

Facilities Management Dan Coston | 01733 559317 | dan.coston@smithsgore.co.uk

Residential Property Agency Andrew Turner | 01904 756303 | andrew.turner@smithsgore.co.uk

Farms & Estates Agency Giles Wordsworth | 020 7409 9490 | giles.wordsworth@smithsgore.co.uk

Rural Commercial & Broadband Ben Knight | 01285 888008 | ben.knight@smithsgore.co.uk

Farm Management Simon Blandford | 01962 857405 | simon.blandford@smithsgore.co.uk

Sporting Services David Steel | 01200 411051 | david.steel@smithsgore.co.uk

Forestry, Woodland and Arboriculture Andy Greathead | 01620 828979 | andy.greathead@smithsgore.co.uk

Sustainability, Renewables and Energy Dr Alan Harries | 0207 409 9490 | alan.harries@smithsgore.co.uk

GIS Mapping Bob Allcock | 01543 261990 | bob.allcock@smithsgore.co.uk

Telecommunications Kay Paton | 01387 274394 | kay.paton@smithsgore.co.uk

Historic Building Conservation and Repair Jane Jones-Warner | 01798 345910 | jane.jones-warner@smithsgore.co.uk

Valuations Gerald FitzGerald | 020 7409 9492 | gerald.fitzgerald@smithsgore.co.uk

International Property Edward Childs | 001 284 494 2446 | edward.childs@smithsgore.co.uk

Edited by Dr Jason Beedell

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smithsgore.co.uk


Winter newsletter 2013/14