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August 2017 - Farmland market review, A Land of opportunity?

10 August 2017

The farmland market in Yorkshire has been variable over the last 6 months to say the least.

Some parts of Yorkshire have seen larger quantities of land and farms marketed than have been available for some years, particularly the east of the county and Yorkshire Wolds. Demand for such farms has built up over the years where a lack of supply has been the norm and good-sized units are finding buyers at good money.


Further west in the livestock dominated area of the Yorkshire Dales, farms have been a much rarer commodity with only the occasional offering during 2017. The market in this area has been dominated by smaller blocks of 10-50ac which have found homes with local farming families in the main.


Parcels of land below 10ac continue to attract a large amount of interest from equestrian and amenity buyers with substantial premiums paid for smaller parcels in desirable locations or close to villages.


Prices continue to be hugely variable with large differences seen between parishes. Commercial blocks of farmland range from £6,000 to £12,000/ac however there remain exceptions to this range, positively where there are neighbouring interests and rollover buyers active, or negatively if properties have difficult access or restrictive covenants. The presence of rollover money continues to be a strong force in the market with more development land obtaining consents right across Yorkshire.


Finding the right property, either locally to expand an existing holding or regionally to relocate, establish a new business or as an investment can be a daunting task and a knowledge of the market as a whole is key. There are opportunities to purchase land and farms at reasonable values in Yorkshire which have scope to provide a good return on investment.


If you would like advice on purchasing a property, assistance in locating land or farms and assistance through the buying process please contact a member of our specialist Agricultural Agency team on 01423 860322


July 2017 - Finalising this Autumn's Cropping plan?

28 July 2017

Remember the likely ban of PPP’s on nitrogen fixing crops for BPS 2018

Those who regularly use Beans as part of their BPS Greening requirements are encouraged to be cautious over their continued use in 2018.  Despite the European Union Agricultural Committee voting against the ban on use of Plant Protection Products (PPP’s) on nitrogen fixing crops used as Ecological Focus Areas (EFA’s), MEP’s look set to force through changes to greening as published in its journal on 30th June 2017.


Simplified this means that it is highly likely that use of chemicals on field beans, peas and other legume crops will not be permitted where an applicant intends to use this as part of his/her greening contribution for the 2018 scheme year.  Seemingly this ban applies for the life cycle of the crop (so from sowing to the point of harvest). Clarification has been sought from the European Commission as to how that interacts with crops sown this autumn before the rule changes take effect from 1st January 2018. 


Additionally this rule will likely apply to fallow land, catch + cover crops also used for EFA’s.  Claimants claiming more than 15 Hectares of arable land are required to allocate 5 % of their arable area towards EFA’s, typically this has been made up of fallow land, hedgerows, catch + cover crops and legume crops.  The likely ban of PPP’s on legume crops and fallow land is expected to have an impact on a large quantity of arable claimants.


If you are worried that this likely ban will affect your 2018 application or would like any general advice relating to the Basic Payment Scheme do not hesitate to contact our specialist agricultural team on 01423 860322.

July 2017 - Countryside Stewardship Scheme (CSS) - Deadline Looming

13 July 2017

Farmers wishing to enter the Countryside Stewardship Mid-Tier scheme for 1st January 2018 start dates are reminded that application packs must be requested by Monday 31st July 2017.  Now in to its third application window the Mid-Tier scheme is primarily targeted at those whose Entry Level Stewardship (ELS) and Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) agreements have now come to an end.  Widely criticised for not being as simple as its predecessor, the Mid-Tier scheme focuses more on meeting local priorities, as defined by Natural England through the Rural Payments Agency website, as opposed to the broader spectrum of the ELS and HLS Schemes.


Whilst the more targeted CSS options will not work on every farm, here at Lister Haigh, we have put together schemes that are of benefit both financially and environmentally to a range of farming systems to include intensive and extensive livestock as well as those growing cereal and root crops on prime arable land.  If you would like to discuss how a Mid-Tier agreement might work in your farming system do not hesitate to contact Andrew Hardcastle or Will Foyle on 01423 860322.


June 2017 - More Development Land Needed

30 June 2017

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) requires local planning authorities to identify and update annually a supply of specific deliverable sites, sufficient to provide five years’ worth of housing against their housing requirements.


Harrogate Borough Council have announced a reduction in their housing land supply from 4.95 years supply to a supply of only 4.06 years in the Harrogate District Housing Land Supply Update March 2017.


Should you have land adjacent to a settlement there may be the opportunity for development, whether you are in the Harrogate District or not.


We continue to provide professional advice and assistance from identifying a site to negotiating a deal. If you would like our assistance then please contact Giles Chaplin, John Haigh or Zoe Harrison on 01423 860322.


June 2017 - Lister Haigh Expand Residential Sales Team

16 June 2017

We are pleased to welcome Ben Furnell to the Residential Sales team based in our Knaresborough offices. Ben has been successfully working in estate agency in the Harrogate, Knaresborough and Wetherby areas for the past 15 years and brings with him a wealth of experience with which he is hoping will help build upon our recent success throughout Yorkshire. 


Our distinctive new For Sale boards are now up promoting our properties for sale with many admiring comments being received. Our new website is currently being created and should be up and running in a few weeks.


The first part of this year has been quite buoyant with good demand for properties particularly in the lower to mid-price ranges. Buyers are, however, finding that there is a distinct lack of properties coming on the market for sale, particularly terraced and semi-detached houses and bungalows. Here at Lister Haigh sales have been very good having agreed the sales of properties as diverse as a 2-bedroomed end terraced house in Harrogate, a terraced cottage in Nidderdale, barns for conversion and several development sites from single plots to large development sites.  We have buyers waiting for town and country property in and around Harrogate, do not hesitate to contact Lister Haigh to book your free market appraisal

June 2017 - Early Summer Surge As Farmland Hits The Market

03 June 2017

The land market in Yorkshire started slowly with a limited supply coming to the market in the first quarter of the year. As spring moves into summer there has been an increase in supply as is common with the seasonal land market, farms are often marketed in early summer with a view to completion occurring after harvest for a simple handover to the purchaser. This year has seen a good number of large commercial mainly arable farms around York and onto the Wolds with few livestock and hill farms marketed and a limited supply of blocks of commercial farmland of 75-200 acres publicly marketed.


Demand for large commercial farms remains buoyant with the taxation benefits of holding farmland remaining the driving force behind purchases with rollover money and lifestyle byers remaining prominent in the marketplace. There continues to be a demand from both local farmers looking to expand and private investors in large commercial blocks of farmland however levels of interest and eventual sale price remain very dependent upon firstly location and secondly quality.


Smaller blocks of land from 10 to 75acres are also in short supply however their remains a strong market from mainly local farmers and landowners who are able to raise the modest levels of finance to purchase land close to their existing land holdings. Location remains key with land in remote areas or areas comprising predominantly tenant farmers continuing to trade at a substantial discount with reduced levels of interest.


The equestrian market continues to grow with demand for pony paddocks and equestrian smallholdings strengthening month on month. Holdings with modern facilities continue to receive good levels of interest but location and access remain key to the success of a sale.


Lister Haigh are pleased to have launched four new parcels of farmland to the market in the last fortnight most notably a 106.96 acre ring fenced parcel of productive arable and grassland at Markington, Harrogate.  We expect strong interest from both farmers and lifestyle buyers, the land is for sale by Private Treaty with a Price Guide of £1,100,000.  Further details are available from Andrew Hardcastle at our Knaresborough office.


Lister Haigh still have a number of retained clients who are looking for farms and blocks of commercial farmland in Yorkshire, for a confidential discussion about your property and for free marketing advice please contact either John Haigh or Andrew Hardcastle on 01423 860322.

May 2017 - BPS 2017 Top Tips to Avoid Penalties

18 May 2017

With the 15th May already feeling like a distant memory and with farmers safe in the knowledge that "those IACS forms" have been submitted for another year some might be forgiven for focusing on the more pressing matters in hand such as weaning lambs, making silage and preparing for harvest.  It is worth however, when possible, to pause for thought and ensure you are staying abreast of regulations and have no reason for the Rural Payments Agency to penalise the much needed subsidy payment.  

Farmers are reminded that Cross Compliance rules must be followed from the 1st January to the 31st December for any scheme year in which they are applying.  This year for the first year DEFRA has not issued a postal copy of its Guide to Cross Compliance, instead all stakeholders claiming Basic Payment in 2017 are encouraged to download a copy from the government website ( ).     

As food for thought we summarise below a few key points of failure over recent years:  

  • Cattle & Sheep Identification- This includes cattle with missing ear tags and insufficient stock movement records (SMR 7 & 8) (note our article on CPH Changes, March 2017)
  • Animal Welfare- Inadequate records of livestock deaths, diseases and medicines.  Unacceptable buildings and handling equipment alongside incompetent animal husbandry (SMR 11, 12 & 13)
  • NVZ's- Missing, half completed and incorrect NVZ records ( note new 2017 Designations, SMR 1)
  • Watercourses - Failure to establish / maintain GAEC 1  2m watercourse buffers and failure to produce a map to identify all sources of surface water, springs, wells and boreholes
  • Hedges- Cultivating within 2m of the centre of the hedge (GAEC 7a) and cutting hedgerows within the closed period 1st March - 31st August (inclusive)
  • Plant Protection Products - Failure to keep sufficient records of agrochemicals applied and failure to apply products in line with the legislation specified in SMR 10
  • Public Rights of Way- Obstructing rights of way, failure to reinstate rights of way and failing to spray off crops along rights of way (GAEC 7b) 

Here at Lister Haigh our specialist agricultural team are pleased to assist you in any way possible, for advice on the 2017 Guide to Cross Compliance or for help completing records do not hesitate to contact us on 01423 860322.


May 2017 - Small Dairy Farmers Scheme- Final Reminder

16 May 2017

Further to our post on the website back in April, please do not forget the deadline for the Small Dairy Farmers Scheme is 31st May 2017.


If you are a dairy farmer producing up to 1,000,000 litres of milk per annum you could be eligible for funding under the Small Dairy Farmers Scheme. 


If you would like more information or help with an application contact Lister Haigh’s specialist Agricultural team on 01423 860322

April 2017 - Small Dairy Farmers Scheme – Application Window Opens 24 April 2017

21 April 2017

As announced by Ministers back in Summer 2016 a package of measures to support dairy and livestock farmers has been agreed.  The UK has secured £25.6m funding of which England was allocated £16m.  This will be used to support farmers through an ammonia reduction scheme, business and risk management training and £8.5m has been set aside to fund a Small Farmer Scheme.


The Scheme will open for applications on 24 April 2017 and applications must be received by midnight on 31 May 2017.  The Scheme is open to all farmers in England with an annual production of up to 1,000,000 litres during the period 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016.  The Scheme will be restricted to those still actively engaged with milk production.


This one-off payment will be capped at 500,000 litres/year and the payment rate will be determined once it is known how many people have applied.  This is due to be published on GOV.UK website in mid-June 2017.  The RPA is to make payments by the end of July 2017.


Whilst this scheme is still somewhat hot off the press we expect more details to emerge in the near future.


If you would like more information or help with an application contact Lister Haigh’s Specialist Agricultural team on 01423 860322.

April 2017 - Water And Electricity Utilities Works

06 April 2017

A number of farmers have received letters from Yorkshire Water or Northern Powergrid regarding planned maintenance or possible upgrades to existing pipes/pylons/poles.


In many cases, initial survey works undertaken are unlikely to cause damage to crops or pasture.  However,  if bore holes are dug, or if works are undertaken which cause damage, there is an entitlement to receive compensation for crop loss, together with any time spent in connection with these matters, as well as reasonable agent’s fees for submitting claims and agreeing the compensation. 


We are aware of cases, when new earth cables have been installed, where farmers have found much longer trenches have been dug than they expected from their conversations with the contractors before the works were done. Also, re-instatement has not been satisfactory in all cases.


It is vitally important to get exact details of the length of any proposed excavations for cables in advance so that no misunderstandings can occur and also to ensure that if the land has any drains in it then contractors are made aware of these before they do the works.


If you are contacted by Yorkshire Water, Northern Powergrid or any other utility company with regard to potential works on your land then please get in touch with us and we would be happy to represent you.


March 2017 - Changes to CPH (Holding Number) Rules

24 March 2017

Many farmers across the region will have recently received (or will shortly receive) a letter informing them of the abolition of the Cattle Tracing System (CTS) Links and the rationalisation of County Parish Holding (CPH) numbers.  Farmers are being invited to merge land held on multiple CPH numbers on to one single CPH number in a bid to simplify livestock movement reporting and improve livestock traceability.  Whilst this appears a simplistic idea it is only possible if you have the land solely at your disposal and it falls within a 10 mile radius of your main holding.  There are 3 main options open to farmers:



On land where livestock will be mixing with livestock kept by another person you must use the CPH number for that holding when reporting movements.  A standstill will still be triggered on the whole holding when any stock are moved on to the “land holders” CPH.



Those that have the land solely at their disposal (either the whole holding or part of it) but on a temporary basis (and within 10 miles of the main holding) are invited to register a Temporary Land Association (TLA), this essentially links the land parcels in question back to your main CPH number.  Movements between the main CPH and the TLA don’t have to be reported and don’t trigger a standstill on the main CPH.  TLA’s will last for a maximum period of 12 months with DEFRA expected to contact livestock keepers at the end of the TLA to ask them if they wish to renew.  This will be the main option where land is taken on a seasonal grazing licence (with sole livestock occupancy of the land) within 10 miles of the main holding.



The final option available to livestock keepers is to register a Temporary CPH (tCPH).  This will allow livestock keepers a similar approach to when holding land on multiple CPH numbers.  Movements between the main CPH and the tCPH will have to be reported and will trigger a standstill on the CPH to which they have been moved.  This does however mean that movements from a third party on to a tCPH will not trigger a standstill on the main CPH (or vice versa) this being a fundamental difference from a TLA.  Again tCPH’s will last for a maximum period of 12 months with DEFRA expected to contact livestock keepers at the expiry to ask whether they wish to renew.  This will be the main option where land is taken on a seasonal grazing licence (with sole livestock occupancy of the land) but over 10 miles from the main holding.


Having difficulty in working out which system is best for you?  Contact our specialist Agricultural Team on 01423 860322

March 2017 - Basic Payment Scheme open for 2017 Applications

11 March 2017

The Rural Payments website is now available for farmers and land managers to submit their 2017 BPS claims online. The application window opened on the 1st March and the deadline for applications is 15th May 2017.


Farmers are now able to check and amend their business details, permissions, maps, entitlements, common land details and confirm their active farmer status on line however many amendments, additional information, continuation booklets and young farmer applications need to be submitted in paper format.


The application window has opened despite many farmers having not received a BPS 2016 payment and many more still with outstanding BPS 2015 and 2016 unresolved issues. These often include mapping requests not undertaken, entitlement transfers not actioned correctly, common land not included in the claim and young farmers payments not being processed. All of these matters may impact on the information available on Rural Payments and may cause complications in submitting the 2017 claim.


The agricultural team at Lister Haigh have a wealth of knowledge in dealing with the Rural Payments Agency, resolving previous year’s claims and submitting BPS application forms. If you require assistance please call our Knaresborough office on 01423 860322.


February 2017 - Farm Subsidy Post Brexit NFU Backs Three Pronged Support

23 February 2017

The National Farmers Union has used its annual conference in Birmingham to unveil its stance on Farm Subsidy post Brexit, a three pronged attack to support Productivity, Environment and Volatility.  Whilst very much an NFU proposal rather than a DEFRA policy, the general consensus is that farm subsidy must move away from direct payments towards targeted measures.


A new three pronged approach might target productivity with further capital grants available to farmers, training and advice as well as tax breaks to stimulate investment.  Environmental measures could see both government funding and private funding targeted towards environmental schemes and more focused measures such as the protection of watercourses.  Finally, Volatility measures might include crop insurance schemes, futures contracts and income guarantees.  Whilst the NFU must work alongside other organisations with rural interests to promote a scheme suited to all sectors of farming, it seems that change is around the corner!


Are you thinking of changing your farming system? Do not hesitate to contact Lister Haigh’s specialist Agricultural team who will be more than happy to help. Tel: 01423 860322

February 2017 - Agricultural Occupancy Restriction Lifted on Barn End, Tockwith

14 February 2017

Our planning team at Lister Haigh have had success in removing an Agricultural Occupancy Condition on a bungalow we are marketing at Tockwith.

Local Councils are usually reluctant to remove agricultural ties unless it can be demonstrated that there is no longer a need for accommodation to be kept available for people employed locally in agriculture or forestry.

With the knowledge and support of our team at Lister Haigh the application was approved to the satisfaction of our clients. Our estate agency team is marketing the property at an increased guide price of £375,000. This has renewed interest with 13 viewings to date. For any queries about viewing the property, please contact Richard Lister on 01423 730700









February 2017 - Hedgerow & Capital Grant Scheme 2017 Launched

01 February 2017

A grant scheme offering farmers up to £5,000 towards hedge planting, stone wall rebuilding, tree planting and some fencing works has just launched.

 Farmers can apply for grants to contribute towards the cost of gapping up, coppicing or laying hedgerows or towards the costs of rebuilding existing stone walls on their holding. The grant scheme opened on the 1st February 2017 with a deadline of the 28th April 2017 and is run along similar lines to the successful scheme run in 2016. The scheme is competitive with applications scored based on a number of criteria with the highest scoring applications being offered funding.

 As a change from the 2016 scheme, some farmers with existing Entry Level Stewardship (ELS) Schemes may be able to apply for funding whilst still receiving their ELS payments.

For a discussion about the scheme please contact either Will Foyle or Andrew Hardcastle on 01423 860322

January 2017 - BPS 2016: Claim Statements on Route

30 January 2017

The RPA has released its first batch of claim statements in respect of 2016 BPS Payments.  These have been sent to the claimant direct with the first batch set to arrive this week.

 The RPA will not notify your agent that your claim statement has been sent and copies are not available on their online website. An alarmingly high number of farms in the region have been subject to Remote Sensing Inspections, not only have these delayed payments but where payments have been made a number of penalties have been applied incorrectly. In addition the RPA continue to make a number of unrelated errors resulting in incorrect BPS 2016 payments which are not always evident. 

 Similar to the 2015 claim statements, the 2016 statement does not provide a field by field breakdown and are not helpful in identifying the source of an incorrect payment.  If for any reason you believe your payment is incorrect or you would like to check the level of your BPS 2016 payment do not hesitate to contact the Lister Haigh team on 01423 860322.




January 2017 - Business Rates Revaluation

05 January 2017

This year will see the new Rating List come into effect from 1st April which will be based on rental values as at 1st April 2015. This comes after the government postponed the revaluation for two years to avoid property values being based on those in 2008.


Your new business rates liability will apply for the next five years and the draft Rating List is available to view on the government website. This could mean some significant changes for a number of businesses.


If you disagree with your new business rates liability, our team at Lister Haigh will be able to provide you with advice and assistance to appeal against the new rateable value of your business premises. For any enquiries, please contact John Haigh on 01423 860322 or

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