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Information and public services for the Island of Jersey

L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

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How agricultural land is controlled

There are 2 laws that govern agricultural land in Jersey.  Both are administered by the Land Controls section of Natural Environment.

Agricultural Land (Control of Sales and Leases) ( Jersey ) Law 1974, as amended.

The purpose of this law is to:

  • control the occupation and use of agricultural land
  • ensure that a stable, viable agricultural land bank is retained for the use of the farming industry

Protection of Agricultural Land (Jersey) Law 1964

The purpose of this law is to:

  • ensure land use of building site services is re-instated to agricultural use
  • ensure land is not contaminated through dumping or top soil removed rendering land unsuitable for further agricultural use
  • control domestication of agricultural land

Agricultural Land (Control of Sales and Leases) ( Jersey ) Law 1974, as amended - Jersey Law website
Protection of Agricultural Land (Jersey) Law 1964 - Jersey Law Website

Land definition and uses

Agricultural land is land that is being used or is capable of being used for any purpose of agriculture or horticulture including glasshouses.

Can agricultural land be used for other purposes?

It is recognised that land is required for a whole range of uses as well as commercial agriculture. The Land Control section will assess the agricultural value of land where it is proposed that the land use is changed. The assessment will determine if the land needs to be protected for the sole use of bona fide agriculturalists, or if the land can be used for other purposes, such as:

  • agri-tourism
  • tree planting or environmental schemes
  • private horse grazing
  • creation of orchards
  • creation of park land
  • smallholdings

Please note that some of the above may require planning permission.

What is a bona fide agriculturist?

A bona fide agriculturist is some one who is wholly engaged in work of an agricultural nature by way of:

  • working for their own profit
  • having experience to farm land
  • spending the majority of their time farming land
  • receiving the majority of their income from agriculture / horticulture
  • having the necessary machinery to work the land
  • earning a gross margin of over £40,000 per annum

Changes of use

There are two types of change of agricultural land use

  • temporary change
  • permanent change of use

Temporary change of use

Temporary changes of use can be granted by the Land Controls section under a licensing scheme.

The scheme allows for areas of land over 2 vergées in size to be used for an alternative agricultural purpose, such as private horse grazing, provided the land owner can prove there is no interest from the agricultural industry.

Permanent change of use

A permanent change to non agricultural use requires planning permission.

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