Some frequently asked questions about agricultural law
The government is obliged to first try to obtain the ownership of your land through negotiations with you (amicable settlement). From that moment on, you will have to deal with many different aspects. The land will have to be valued and the price will have to be negotiated. Procedures most agricultural entrepreneurs will not be familiar with. It is therefore advisable to seek the assistance of expert advisers (to which farmers are legally entitled).
If the parties cannot reach an agreement in the amicable process, the government must initiate expropriation proceedings in court. Expropriation is subject to strict legal conditions. After all, the non-voluntary surrender of one’s property is a drastic measure. Expert advice is absolutely essential. So, engage a lawyer in good time, one who understands expropriation and is familiar with the agricultural sector. The specialists at Hekkelman will be happy to help you.
Expanding a livestock farm without sufficient ‘nitrogen space’ is currently only possible through internal or external offsetting. External offsetting is subject to strict rules. If these rules are not met, the parties run legal risks with potentially large financial consequences. So be well advised if you want to expand by internal or external offsetting.
If you are held liable, the other party believes you are responsible for damage or loss they have suffered. It is important to report this to your liability insurance company immediately. Do not respond to the other party yourself, this may worsen your legal position. Engage a lawyer who specialises in liability cases in the agricultural sector without delay to clarify your legal position.
The combination of solar and wind energy is ideal. One small windmill generates about as much power as 120 solar panels. However, panels are much cheaper. When the sun shines, there is usually little wind and vice versa. By combining these sustainable energy projects, you not only achieve an optimal return, but you also relieve the electricity grid because you can use cable pooling
In cable pooling, one connection is used for two projects (generating solar and wind energy). Because of congestion on the grid, it is important to find out whether this is feasible at your location. As a rule, you can deliver the energy back to the grid and get paid for it. You can also store the generated energy in your own battery or use it directly by running your (milking) machines on this green power.
Safety first! Depending on the type of contamination, it can have a major impact on your health. Think, for example, of asbestos contamination. It is important to hire a specialist to investigate the extent of the soil contamination. It is also important to find out who is liable, so that you can recover the damage or loss you have suffered. A lawyer can help you with this.
It is often thought that oral agreements suffice or that they are not binding. That is not the case: oral agreements are as valid as written agreements. Difficult situations arise precisely when parties disagree about an oral agreement. It is then much more complicated to demonstrate what the parties may expect from each other. You run legal risks precisely by not putting down your agreements on paper. It is better to set out these risks in an agreement, so that it is clear to all parties where each of them stands. After all, prevention is better than cure.
A good contract prevents annoying legal proceedings with high costs. Investing in a good contract may therefore benefit you later. Benefit from the assistance of a lawyer specialised in agricultural law from the very start of your contract negotiations.
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