Holy wow, it’s been a long time since I posted!
I think we’ve finally, successfully completed the first big step in acquiring a croft. Back in October we made an offer on a croft tenancy. Within a fairly short amount of time the transaction was verbally agreed on, since then the slow, deliberate legal wheels have been turning. Winter arrived with the darkest of days as multiple issues with the property surfaced, each requiring research and due diligence. The last issue was finally settled during the last week of March enabling the missives to be concluded this week. So it’s done!
This is just the first step in a series. Now the purchasing funds are placed in an escrow account while our application for the tenancy to be assigned to us is submitted and processed. We’re bracing for another long wait on this process. We’ve heard from multiple sources that the Crofting Commission (government entity responsible for processing assignation applications) are under staffed and have a serious backlog. Processing times experienced by others have been anywhere from 3 months to 6 months.
The upside of this wait is that is gives us time to gather together what’s needed for the following steps. Here’s what we’ve got in mind:
- Work with the Woodland Trust to organise tree planting on the croft as soon as we’re allowed. We should be able to begin as soon as the assignation is complete but it may be the wrong season to do so.
- Work with planning officer to ready an application for planning permission for the necessary works on the house.
- Prepare an application to the Rural Payments folks for funding assistance for improvements to the house. More on this in the future…
- Also prepare an application for funding assistance for agricultural buildings/works. The only other building on the property is a very dodgy shed, at the very least we need fencing but realistically we’ll eventually need other outbuildings (hopefully including one of these beauties!).
- We can also start cautiously investing in some small physical assets, both agricultural equipment and assets for the house. I’m thinking beehives, a chainsaw and maybe a kitchen tap…
Given the overall state of the property (the house is the barest of shells and the land is covered by a significant amount of gorse) there’s plenty of planning for us to do. Death by paperwork incoming!