The adaptation and maintenance of farm buildings

As CLA members are well aware, agriculture and regulatory change has made almost all traditional farm buildings redundant, but it is very difficult to get planning permission to convert them sympathetically to new ones.  This is leaving hundreds of thousands of buildings unused and in decay.  The CLA response to this consultation generally welcomes this new draft Historic England advice, which understands the problem, points out that in most cases buildings if not adapted to new uses will be lost from the landscape, and provides good advice on adaptation and maintenance.

Countryside Stewardship Applications

The implementation of the Countryside Stewardship scheme has been flawed but it remains the best option for members in England who are looking to maintain and enhance the natural environment they manage. The UK Government has committed to honour the full duration of signed Countryside Stewardship agreements so the scheme is officially ‘Brexit-proof’.

Listed Buildings and Curtilage

‘Curtilage listing’ can invisibly extend listed building protection to other surrounding buildings and structures, even if they are not mentioned in the official list description.  For obvious reasons this can cause considerable confusion for owners and local authorities, confusion exacerbated by a lack of guidance and an inaccurate but widely-promulgated view that ‘curtilage listing’ is impossibly complicated.  This has become a standard criticism of listed building legislation and of the heritage protection system as a whole.  In 2016, after many years of CLA and other lobbying, Historic England published advice on this which for the first time clarified what 'curtilage listing' covers and what it does not.  In early 2017 however HE withdrew its advice and consulted on a watered-down version.  This CLA response stresses the importance of clear advice from Historic England, both on whether or not a structure is a curtilage structure, and the implications if it is.

Disincorporation Relief

The CLA has responded to the June 2012 consultation that explores a possible,
temporary, and limited disincorporation relief for the smallest businesses.  In
its response, the CLA has suggested that a disincorporation relief should be
available to all companies and that tax should not seek to prefer one business
structure over another.

Reservoir Safety in England and Wales: Implementation of Amendments to the Reservoirs Act 1975

The Flood and Water Management Act 2010 included a number of provisions amending the Reservoirs Act 1975.  The basis for these proposed changes were to ensure reservoir safety in England and Wales is based on a proportionate risk management basis.  Chief amongst these were the reduction of the threshold for large raised reservoirs from 25,000 cubic meters to 10,000 cubic meters capacity and the introduction of the high risk designation for those reservoirs thought to pose a risk to life.

The Future of the Advisory Committee on Pesticides

Defra have announced that it is their intention to disband the ACP and replace it with a non-statutory expert scientific committee, providing advice to ministers.  Defra feel that the ACP, formed in 1985, no longer fulfils its original purpose.  At its inception, the bulk of regulation on pesticides was taken at Member State level, however by 2012, regulation is almost entirely passed at a European level.  Defra felt this was the preferred option and the CLA has conditionally welcomed the move.  It agrees that a new committee with a renewed remit is appropriate in light of recommendations made by the Chief Scientific Adviser, and independent reviews within Government

The Implementation of the Nitrates Directive in England 2013-2016

The Nitrate Directive is intended to reduce water pollution caused by nitrates
from agricultural sources.  Government is required to review the implementation of it every four years.  This recent consultation looked at the issue again of
whether to continue with discrete designation of NVZs in England (a separate consultation was carried in Wales) or take up the option of designating all of
England as a single NVZ and then consider changes to the Action Programme.

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