Finding new ways to adapt against an ongoing backdrop of political uncertainty was the main theme of discussion at this year’s annual Savills Lincoln rural landowner’s seminar, titled ‘Future Protection, Future Profit, Future Proofing’.
With more than 100 people in attendance, the seminar at Stoke Rochford Hall in Grantham attracted an audience of local farmers, landowners and professionals from across Lincolnshire who gathered to hear presentations by rural experts from international real estate advisor, Savills; Browne Jacobson LLP; insurance broker, Weatherbys Hamilton; and Weatherbys Bank.
The seminar began with an overview of the development land market across the East Midlands from Ben Glover, regional development director at Savills, who also looked at changes in development linked to land value capture and an introduction to biodiversity offsetting, outlining opportunities to offset land against development. Ben explained that the residential land market across the East Midlands remains robust, with a shortage of land driving up values achieved. He also highlighted that all political parties want to deliver more homes but depending on the outcome of the December General Election, there could be squeezes on developers’ margins or land values achieved. Andrew Wraith, head of food and farming at Savills followed by looking at opportunities for farmers in the future, with a focus on environmental land management schemes and biodiversity offsetting in practice.
Martin Wright of Weatherbys Hamilton LLP focused on topical insurance tips for land and estate owners focusing on rights of way, pollution, rebuilding and legal expenses, whilst active versus passive investments was the order of the day from John Butters of Weatherbys Bank. Lucy Worwood of Browne Jacobson, looked at the importance of estate and tax planning for the future whilst her colleague, Helen Taller offered advice on the future of assured shorthold tenancies, explaining that over recent years it has become increasingly difficult for a landlord to serve a section 21 notice to bring an assured shorthold tenancy to an end – an increasing number of pre-requisites have been imposed such that a landlord is now completely barred from serving a section 21 notice if these pre-requisites have not been complied with.
Johnny Dudgeon, head of Savills Lincoln who chaired the seminar, comments: “We were delighted to welcome so many local people to our annual briefing again this year. The rural sector is facing uncertain times against an ongoing backdrop of Brexit related political uncertainty and now the upcoming General Election. As a result, we felt it was particularly important to focus our efforts on future proofing local business and adapting through a changing environment and uncertain times this year and we hope the event has highlighted some important priorities for local landowners.”