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17th July 2018

Farmers and the Oxbridge Corridor

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Over the coming years, farmers and other agricultural land owners throughout the Oxbridge Corridor will be presented with significant opportunities.  Under plans to create a new economic powerhouse, the government has committed to building up to one million new homes across the region by 2050[1]. This housing will need to be supported by new amenities, from schools and doctors' surgeries to shops and leisure centres.

The government's plans also involve building a multi-billion-pound road linking Cambridge, Milton Keynes and Oxford – the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway – and a railway connecting East Anglia with central, southern and western England – the East West Rail.

For all this development, the government and private developers will require significant amounts of land. However, the process of selling agricultural land for development can seem daunting for those with little or no experience in this area. Quite apart from the sale itself, there are often many ancillary issues to consider.

For one thing, any land sale will bring a major cash injection, so careful succession and tax planning are necessary. For another, it is important to ensure that the sale integrates with your existing farming or estate business, so you may need help with its management throughout the process.

Even for those who aren't interested in selling, the Oxbridge Corridor growth plans could provide significant opportunities. For example, entrepreneurial farmers may wish to look at renewable energy sources to supply power to the new settlements. This may require planning permission and other legal support.

Agriculture and rural property run deeply through Hewitsons, so our lawyers understand the challenges that modern landowners face.

We have an extensive record of acting for farmers, as well as other private individuals, consortiums, estates, charities and other landowning institutions, so we can devise a strategy to cover all your specific requirements.

Our respected Agriculture & Rural Property team – comprising three partners and 13 solicitors – works together with our Planning & Environment, Private Wealth and Real Estate teams to cover all bases, giving you complete peace of mind at every stage.

Furthermore, because we have other teams specialising in residential development and the issues surrounding strategic land – land that has not yet reached its development potential – we can anticipate the needs of your future buyer, helping the process to run quickly and smoothly.

From the beginning of our relationship, a dedicated partner will take the time to get to know you and ensure you receive the right advice.

For more information specifically tailored for farmers and other agricultural land owners, please read our Oxbridge Corridor brochure.