What is an agricultural occupancy condition?

Although there is a presumption against new residential development in the countryside the planners recognise that some workers need to be housed in the countryside in order to carry out their job e.g. a cowman needing to live near the milking parlour. Historically such properties were designated with an Agricultural Occupancy Condition (“Ag. Tag”) meaning literally that the occupant of that house had to be employed in agriculture.

Some fisheries in the past described their activity as fish farming and come with “Ag Tag” properties. Now, however, under Planning Policy Statement 7 Sustainable Development in Rural Areas the agricultural dwellings provision has been extended to include ‘other occupational dwellings'. Other occupational dwellings can now include dwellings on livery yards and managers' dwellings on caravan parks and fisheries.

For new dwellings to be given permission under these rules two criteria must be satisfied, the functional test and the financial test.