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Changes to Agricultural & Ownership Certificates – Read now if you have applications in draft

by on June 3, 2013

Last year the Government decided to go ahead with a proposal to merge the application form requirements for agricultural land declarations and ownership certificates. The new combined certificates will simplify the application form and reduce the number of invalid applications submitted on paper (by post) on the basis of a technicality.

We will be introducing the changes on the evening of Thursday 6 June (18:00 – 20:00).

Please read on as there are implications for anyone with applications in draft at that time.

What does this mean for Portal users?

A main reason for invalid paper applications is that applicants don’t complete the agricultural land declaration properly.

By introducing this change the applicant will answer just one question for both the ownership certificate and agricultural land declaration, meaning less confusion for applicants and the LPA and leading to a quicker registration of the application.

I hear you asking why we’re telling you this when all of your applications are submitted online!

With the introduction of the change we have had to slightly amend the online application process, too. This is to ensure the forms remain consistent.

A benefit of merging the certificates on the online application service is that applicants will no-longer have to complete the certificate signatory details twice, resulting in a time saving.

An example of the new certificate questions for planning applications on the paper forms can be accessed here and below are a couple of screen shots from the online service which show how the current Certificates and Agricultural Land Declaration screens looks and the new merged certificate screen.

Current ownership certificate screen


Agricultural Land Declaration


New merged certificate (from 6 June)


The important bit – what you need to do if you have any applications in draft

If you have an application in draft before 6 June you  will need to check the answers to some of the certificate questions again if you submit after 6 June.

Please pay particular attention to your agricultural tenant information as you may need to re-enter this in the new combined table.

This is the first in a series of updates planned for the site in the coming months, I’ll give you more information shortly.

  1. David Campion MRICS FBIAC permalink

    The Agricultural Holdings Certificate was always confusing but as a rural practitioner I do just wonder if the definition of Tenant is going to cause problems. There are many instances, for example, of the dwelling on an agricultural unit being let under a tenancy agreement but the land and buildings occupied under licence. As for the Planning Portal, it is a powerful resource.

  2. HELY permalink

    I would like to understand whether other forms of tenant should also be notified (eg. should a school be notified when the LA is putting in an application that includes part of their land) – it is not “agricultural” yet the school has a lease on the land and currently a claim to ownership (academy order granted but LA holding back on land transfer and now putting in an application containing part of their site!)… the school has not been formally notified of the application. Thanks

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