Rural Land and Property

Steeped in the region’s rural and agricultural communities for over 200 years, Peter Dodd and our specialist team work with clients on a wide range of rural land and property matters throughout the region.

We are ranked as a leading UK law firm in The Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners legal directories, with Peter Dodd ranked as a leading lawyer in both.  This means that every client receives specialist advice from team members who are 100% focused on rural land and property issues and solutions.

Peter advises on all types of land and property sales and purchases, restructuring, development of agricultural/rural land and buildings, farm business tenancies and grazing licences and a wide range of complex land and land law issues (e.g. private water/drainage apparatus and easements, access issues, manorial rights, rights of common and unregistered land).

Across the firm, we have a seven strong team of solicitors who understand the rural and agricultural sector and assist Peter and his immediate team by bringing their particular areas of legal expertise including:

  • Sale and purchase of land and rural property, including
  • Sale and purchase of agricultural land and buildings
  • Representing clients at auction sales
  • Drafting deeds for access and services, such as rights of way, rights to use septic tanks/treatment plants, rights to use private water supplies and boreholes
  • Gifts of land, transfers of part of larger titles, estate restructuring, registration of land, boundary agreements and other land related matters
  • Tax and succession planning for land-owning/farming families, including the availability of Agricultural Property Relief
  • Rural property dispute resolution, including boundary disputes, septic tank/environmental pollution disputes, boathouse/lake encroachment disputes, and disputes over access to land and property
  • Agricultural and rural business matters for developers and private clients who own two or more properties in the Lake District and wider countryside
  • Commercial contracts and agreements
  • A range of issues relating to relating to agricultural/rural charities.

Rural land and property work in the Lake District region is among the most complex and challenging in the UK, taking into consideration its place in the Lake District National Park, its conservation areas,  the particular requirements of the various local authorities and its World Heritage Site designation.  Other considerations include regulations imposed by the National Trust, Natural England, the Forestry Commission, the Environment Agency and other Government departments.

When it comes to being immersed in the community, we can trace our rural land and property expertise back to 1822 and one of our former senior partners, William Heelis, was lawyer to Beatrix Potter in her purchase of farms and land – and, of course, they subsequently married!   As members of the Agricultural Lawyers Association and in touch with all the leading rural property and land professionals in the region, we offer all our clients a knowledgeable, solutions-focused service.  As we know that no two rural transactions are ever the same, we like to arrange an upfront site visit to see for ourselves and understand our client’s objectives.

Members of our 8-strong sector specialist team work on rural land and property matters according to the expertise required for each matter, with all work supervised by a partner and reviewed by a second partner.

We look forward to working with you on your rural land or property matter.  We refer you to our pricing page for illustrative fees and our current hourly rates.  Wherever possible, we work on fixed, capped or staged fees to give our clients greatest certainty of cost.  Please contact Peter Dodd for an initial discussion.