The window for BPS applications 2018 is due to open shortly and will close again on 15th May 2018.  There have been a number of changes to greening rules for 2018 and the RPA have been carrying out mapping updates for all applicants over the last few months, these will need to be checked before the 2018 claim is submitted.  If WebbPaton have not previously been involved with your BPS application, and you would like our assistance, please do not hesitate to contact Harriet Ruffle at WebbPaton.



The Mid-Tier Countryside Stewardship application window is due to open shortly for agreements to start on 1st January 2019.  We anticipate the deadline for applications will be earlier than previous years, probably 31st July 2018.  Natural England have introduced four new streamlined packages for 2018.  The packages are a pre-selected range of options for arable, lowland grazing, upland and mixed farming systems, with a simplified application form, revised evidence requirements and no competitive element.  These four packages will be offered alongside the standard Mid-Tier agreements.   

If you are interested in applying for Mid-Tier Countryside Stewardship please contact one of our team at WebbPaton who will be happy to help.



New farming rules for water come into force from April 2018.  There are eight rules, five about managing fertilisers and manures and three on managing soils.  The fertiliser rules require farmers to test their soils, then plan and apply their fertiliser or manure to improve soil nutrient levels and meet crop needs.  They include minimum storage and spreading distances from water bodies.  They also require the farmer to assess weather and soil conditions to reduce the risk of runoff and soil erosion.  The remaining rules require farmers to manage livestock by protecting land within five metres of water and reducing livestock poaching.

The majority of the rules are already covered within existing regulations and cross compliance requirements, but there is a new requirement to test soils on cultivated land every five years.  If you would like any more information please do not hesitate to contact one of our team at WebbPaton who will be happy to help.


The RDPE Countryside Productivity Scheme provides funding for projects in England which improve productivity in the farming and forestry sectors. Under the RDPE Countryside Productivity Scheme, there are grants for:

  • water resource management and reservoirs
  • improving forestry productivity
  • adding value to Agri-foods
  • improving farm productivity

If you are interested in applying for any of the grants under the RDPE Countryside Productivity Scheme please contact George King at WebbPaton.


WebbPaton have sold a 515 dwelling residential development site to Legal and General Homes.  This 78-acre site in Shrivenham, Oxfordshire was sold by WebbPaton for two landowning clients who entered into a Promotional Agreement with Welbeck Strategic Land.   The development had outline planning for 515 new homes.  It represents the third major site being brought forward by Legal & General Homes, bringing its housing pipeline to over 3,000 new homes.  Construction for the first phase of new homes is due to start at the end of next year. The site is large enough to provide a full range of housing options, from one-bed apartments to four-bed detached family homes.


180 of the homes will be much-needed affordable housing and Legal & General will look to use modular construction from its factory in Leeds for this element of the site.  By using traditional building techniques alongside modular construction, the team will be able to accelerate delivery on the ground.  Legal & General has been involved in housing activities for nearly 20 years. It is committed to addressing the UK’s chronic housing shortage through delivering high-quality sustainable and enduring homes with plans in place to build more than 80,000 new homes over the next five to ten years.


James Lidgate, CEO of Legal & General Homes, commented:  “As well as addressing the chronic shortfall of housing in the UK, Legal & General Homes is looking to regenerate the UK’s landscape for the better and build vibrant communities where people want to live, such as this sought after location in Oxfordshire.  Using Legal & General’s long term capital, we are seeking to create a legacy that we are proud of.  To do this, we want to challenge public perceptions of new homes by delivering a product that surpasses buildings of the past in terms of quality, efficiency and comfort, while ensuring the homes are carefully integrated into the community, providing much enhanced public realm, facilities and infrastructure.”


Alistair Watson, Senior Partner of Welbeck Strategic Land commented: “We are delighted to have secured a planning consent on behalf of the landowners and to have concluded a sale to Legal and General Homes and jointly with Legal and General Homes to have contributed towards delivering homes to alleviate the current housing shortage.”


George Paton of WebbPaton commented “This is WebbPaton’s  5th major residential development site sale in the last 12 months which include selling 200 dwellings at Faringdon, 350 dwellings at Blunsdon, 116 dwellings at Shrivenham, 112 dwellings at Steventon and 87 dwellings at Swindon.  We have acted for the two landowners throughout from when the land had no planning chance all the way through planning.  This sale shows the benefit of landowners entering into a Promotional Agreement rather than an Option Agreement.  We are always happy to act for any landowner who needs advice on how to promote their land for residential development.  Now is a good time to bring forward land as the Swindon and the Wiltshire Local Plan Reviews are now underway.”


WebbPaton have postponed our annual round of seminars in late January/early February. The main topic of interest currently is the future of farming policy post Brexit, which is largely unknown.  It has been confirmed that BPS 2019 will be on the same basis as now and there will be a five year transition period post-BPS 2019, which would see BPS remaining until 2024 but with the introduction of a cap on larger payments.  We are planning to rearrange our annual seminars at a later date as soon as there is some more clarity as to the way forward, meanwhile the team at WebbPaton will keep abreast of the latest developments and share this knowledge with individual clients as and when we meet.


The application window for the Woodland Creation Grant is now open.  These are two-year capital grants of up to £6,800 per hectare, with the opportunity to apply for ten-year annual maintenance payments.  Applications must be submitted by 16th February 2018.  If you are interested in applying for the Woodland Creation Grant please contact Libby Barron at WebbPaton.

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