Agricultural Land Tribunals
The Agricultural Land Tribunals (ALTs) play an important role in settling disputes and other issues between agricultural tenants and landlords arising from tenancy agreements held under the Agricultural Holdings Act 1986. They also consider applications under sections 28 and 30 of the Land Drainage Act 1991, in respect of certain drainage disputes between neighbours. There is no appeal to the ALTs under the Agricultural Tenancies Act 1995.
The main issues dealt with by ALTs are:
- applications by close relatives of a deceased or retiring tenant to succeed to the tenancy
- applications by landlords for consent to a notice to quit served on the tenant
- applications for a direction to tend ditches or carry out drainage work on neighbouring land
- applications by landlords for a certificate of bad husbandry on the ground that the tenant is not farming in accordance with the rules of good husbandry
- applications by tenants for approval to carry out long-term improvements on the holding
- applications for a direction to provide fixed equipment.
There are seven ALT panels in England; each covers a specific geographical area as laid down in the Agricultural Land Tribunals (Area) Order 1982 (SI 1982/97.)
|Tribunal Area||Counties covered|
|South Western||(Old county of) Avon, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Wiltshire, Isles of Scilly|
|South Eastern||Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, East Sussex, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Kent, Oxfordshire, Surrey, West Sussex, London Boroughs south of the River Thames including Richmond on Thames|
|Eastern||Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Suffolk, London Boroughs north of the River Thames except Richmond on Thames|
|Northern||Cumbria, Durham, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, Tees Valley
|Yorkshire and Humberside
||North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, (old county of) Humberside, South Yorkshire|
|Western||Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Merseyside, Shropshire, Staffordshire|
|Midlands||Derbyshire, Herefordshire & Worcestershire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Warwickshire, West Midlands|
- is an independent statutory body with jurisdiction only within its own geographical area
- is constituted afresh for hearing each case
- consists of a Chairman and two lay members nominated by the Chairman.
The Chairman also has the discretion, rarely exercised, to nominate two Assessors from a panel of professional experts nominated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.