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anybody bought / tried to buy land of a farmer to make their garden bigger?

(15 Posts)
mamapants Tue 14-May-13 14:53:12

How did you go about it??
Probably don't have the money right now but would love to buy a bit of land off the farmer to give us a bit more space. Only thinking about 1 or 2 acres.
The land used to belong to the property but a long time ago.

Anyone have any experience of this? Did you approach farmer directly or through solicitors? Did you approach with an offer or see how much they wanted?

Foxred10 Tue 14-May-13 15:04:19

I've got some experience of this from the other side which hopefully might help (neighbours requesting some additional farmland to extend their garden / put in a new driveway)

The best way to approach it IMO is to speak to the landowner directly, with a very clear idea of what you would be willing to pay for the land. As a benchmark, around here (NE Scotland) you'd be looking at a minimum of 10k - 20k per acre for a small parcel to add to your garden. This reflects the value added to your property by the additional ground, minus base agricultural value. In some cases it will be less (awkward area of the field that was not much use anyway) and in some cases far more (big uplift in property value / very productive Agri land etc etc)

Decide what it's worth to you, then go in with an offer about 20% - 30% lower than that and be prepared to negotiate wink

It would be quite common for the landowner to request that you also pay all legal costs and also quite common for a restricted development clause to be added (we always specify no buildings or livestock without prior written consent, and cannot be disponed separately from the dwelling for example)

Good luck smile x

ILikeBirds Tue 14-May-13 17:28:38

You need planning permission to change agricultural land to garden land which may not necessarily be granted. I would enquire about the probability of permission being passed initially.

mamapants Tue 14-May-13 18:14:09

Wow Foxred I wasn't expecting to pay anywhere near 20k! Probably being naïve.
Likewise had no idea I'd need planning permission, seems a bit weird. Have you bought land then I like birds?
I can't imagine it would be a problem getting planning our house backs up onto the field it would just be a question of moving the wall.

littleducks Tue 14-May-13 18:19:29

It can be problematic with planning, there was a case in the newspaper where they had done just that without planning permission. They had to reinstate a gate/wall and plant meadow type plants instead of a manicured garden. That was ok hmm

bettycoast Tue 14-May-13 18:22:49

Friends of ours had a garden which had previously been farmland. They were only allowed to plant wild meadow flowers, and the whole thing had to be cut when the farmer cut his hay. It probably depends where you live how hard it is to get permission though. Their house was somewhere with very strict planning to ensure the rural spirit of the area wasn't eaten up by townies.

Eve Tue 14-May-13 18:25:33

In Hampshire where I am..l probably £75k an acre and planning would be an issue, they are likely to suspect after turning it into a garden you will then want planning for building on it.

ILikeBirds Tue 14-May-13 18:26:33

Planning doesn't relate to how easy it is to move a wall! The cases I know of are where people have bought the land, moved a fence and retrospectively applied for permission when discovered. Planning permission has been refused because in these particular cases the green belt boundary ran along the back of the gardens and it was against policy to allow permission on green belt land.

lilystem Tue 14-May-13 18:34:23

Good advic from fox red. I'm a farmer and have sold land as she has described. I would always welcome someone knocking at my door! Most farmers would be pretty friendly and I know I would guide you a little bit in terms of planning eg some of our fields would be likely to get it whilst others never would. An informal chat can never do much harm.

WestmorlandSausage Tue 14-May-13 18:40:13

I agree with Foxred entirely on costs etc as is similar to round us.

It really will depend on where you live in the country and what the land is currently being used for. Then on how much you want it and how prepared the farmer is to sell it.

For example, some of our neighbours wanted to put a gate through from a different part of the road over a strip of land owned by us rather than using the access that was already there but meant having to go through a closed farm gate each time. They offered £5k for that 1m x 2m strip of land just to be able to put a gate through which was a no brainer for us to say yes to as it was of no value to us really anyway and we really needed the money.

A different lot of neighbours further down wanted the best part of an acre from us out of one of our best hay meadows to extend their garden and offered £8k for it. Not a chance! We wanted at least £15 - 20k for it as it would impact on us being able to farm that field as affectively and would be quite intrusive. The only reason we would consider selling is again because we really need the money. They are still debating whether having a bigger garden is worth £15k to them - thats up to them! (It would probably add at least that if not more on to the value of their house)

WestmorlandSausage Tue 14-May-13 18:40:59

Just out of interest mamapants how much were you expecting it was going to cost?

RCheshire Tue 14-May-13 19:19:09

Whether you need planning depends on what you want to do with it. If you want to plant flowerbeds, put up climbing frames, build a greenhouse etc then you would need to apply for change of use to 'garden'. If you are going to fence it off and let it grow wild, plant trees, 'wild' shrubs etc then you are likely to be OK - still classed as pasture. Change of use to garden in green belt is often refused as our allows you to change the look of the landscape too much, and is seen as a stepping stone to building permission

GrendelsMum Tue 14-May-13 19:42:40

I'd think hard about whether you really want 2 acres - or even 1. I am a very keen gardener, and spend most of my spare time in the garden when necessary (i.e. every evening after work and at least one day at the weekend). I just about can keep our half acre looking good on that, but to be honest, I don't think I could deal with more, or afford to plant it up. Even our meadow area needs work, getting out ragwort etc.

A friend has 3 acres and he's struggling to keep it looking good - it's almost all fairly manky grass, which is not impressive.

When we were buying, we looked seriously at a house with 2.5 acres, 2 of it officially pasture rather than garden, and I was struggling to think of what we'd do with the 2 extra acres. We found (and this may have been our local council) that even using it as an orchard would require change of use permission.

mamapants Tue 14-May-13 19:52:37

eBirds I wasn't suggesting planning was about the easiness of moving a wall. I just genuinely hadn't considered the issue of planning and my comment was more to reflect that rather than having a grassy field on one side of a wall it would be a grassy field on another side of the wall.
I certainly have no interest in building on it but didn't realise that extending a garden would need planning. I will make enquiries at the council. Although if we are talking about 20k- 75k then I really can't see it happening anyway.

mamapants Tue 14-May-13 19:58:19

Oh Westmoreland I was thinking maybe 5-10k for an acre. But I really didn't have a clue. And was going to look into it before embarassing myself and offending my neighbour!
And grendels you are completely right I am likely only to need half an acre. Getting carried away! I did view a property with 3 acres and this worried my mum a great deal because she has a big garden and knows the work involved. I am a very enthusiastic gardener - but have the tiniest garden in the world so have no idea if I'll even be able to keep on top of my new garden let alone needing to make it bigger!

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