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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Mmmmm, in this case the legislation has no definition of "occupy", so I have taken the dictionary definition.

Also, in agriculture, a shake of the hand is often taken as a binding agreement between parties.....

The regulatroy authority I'm dealing with has said that just because you pay to occupy an area of land that is no indicator that you occupy it????:confused:
 
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I always find it far more usefull to state the actual problem and what you hope to achieve/avoid rather than some oblique question that isn't really answerable with the minimal facts provided....

In Law, Occupancy will depend on the facts of each case.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Point taken:eek:, here goes;

In order for a company to compost bio-degradable waste one of the provisions of the legislation is that they "occupy" the land where the compost will be used. The EA have said that paying for an area of land in agreement with the landowner does not confer "occupation", I believe that as an agreement has been set up between the landowner and the composter who has paid a rent that allows them to occupy that land is tantamount to "occupation" of that land. There is no definition of occupy either within the legislation nor statutory guidance so I have tried to look, and use the dictionary definition. I just wondered if there was any legal precedent that would add to this.
What I need to demonstrate to the Environment Agency is that the composter does, in fact, occupy the land where the compost is to be used and, is therefore, entitled to compost bio-degradeable waste at his site. The EA have allowed him to begin composting at the site and, as they have decided upon their own definition of "occupy" have stopped him from operating, thereby forcing the local authority to landfill their green waste.
 

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I work for Natural England, another environmental agency type set up. In the situation you're talking about, we'd be looking for a tenancy agreement that gave you control of the land for the period of time that you held the agreement with us about whatever you're going to do on the land, in our case it's things like developing wild animal habitats and converting to organic farming.

If you didn't have a tenancy agreement we'd ask for the landlords signature to say that the works would be completed and exist for the full length of the agreement (usually five or ten years), if for example you decided to give up your tenancy.

i can't say this is what the EA is looking for but they have their reasons for wanting something more concrete than a verbal agreement before they give the go ahead for stuff to be done on the land.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I work for Natural England, another environmental agency type set up. In the situation you're talking about, we'd be looking for a tenancy agreement that gave you control of the land for the period of time that you held the agreement with us about whatever you're going to do on the land, in our case it's things like developing wild animal habitats and converting to organic farming.

If you didn't have a tenancy agreement we'd ask for the landlords signature to say that the works would be completed and exist for the full length of the agreement (usually five or ten years), if for example you decided to give up your tenancy.

i can't say this is what the EA is looking for but they have their reasons for wanting something more concrete than a verbal agreement before they give the go ahead for stuff to be done on the land.
This is occupation just for the purposes of the composting. The EA have registered an exemption that states the composter occupies the land on which to spread the compost.
This is just one of a catalogue of misinterpretations that the EA keep adding to:(. I worked at the EA for five and a half years and regularly had issues with those in policy and process that kept on making fundamental errors. My main gripe is that they only regulate the regulated (if you see what I mean) yet won't touch illegal waste disposal despite regularly being told about it. The site where the composter is situated is next door to an vacant scrapyard with oil stained ground, above an aquifer.

Oooo starting a bit of a rant, I best steady down:rolleyes:
 

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It's more this bit really, paragraph 12 composting.....

http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si1994/Uksi_19941056_en_5.htm#sdiv3
I think I see

the exemption is :

" 12.-(1) Composting biodegradable waste at the place where the waste is produced or where the compost is to be used, or at any other place occupied by the person producing the waste or using the compost, if the total quantity of waste being composted at that place at any time does not exceed-
(a) in the case of waste composted or to be composted for the purposes of cultivating mushrooms, 10,000 cubic metres; and
(b) in any other case, 1,000 cubic metres."​

and the question is whether "any other place occupied by the person producing the waste or using the compost" means

any place physically occupied by that person (what you say); or

any place which that person both physically occupies and has an enforceable legal right to occupy (what the EA say)​

My immediate reaction is that where there is no definition given, the start point is always that words have their natural meaning

"occupies" seems to me to mean just that, "occupies". If it was meant to say controls, owns, or is entitled to occupy then it could, should and would say so

the best parallel I can think of is the Occupiers Liability Acts 1957 and 1984. You might want to see what you can find on how 'occupier' has been defined in the cases under those acts. A quick google (memory fails me !) suggests this as a start point:

"The acknowledged test for 'occupation' can be found in the case of Wheat -v- Lacon [1966] AC 552. It was said ...... "Wherever a person has a sufficient degree of control over premises that he ought to realise that any failure on his part to use care may result in injury to a person lawfully there ......"

Note in that context, actual control, not legal entitlement

In my (initial!) view, occupier does not mean owner, lessee, tenant etc - it means occupier, and that is a 'physical' not a 'legal ownership' concept

I could see that it might be easy to stretch this to 'lawfully occupies', but a bare oral licence (i.e. permission) would do for that I think

Hope this helps get you going
 
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I think I see

the exemption is :

" 12.-(1) Composting biodegradable waste at the place where the waste is produced or where the compost is to be used, or at any other place occupied by the person producing the waste or using the compost, if the total quantity of waste being composted at that place at any time does not exceed-
(a) in the case of waste composted or to be composted for the purposes of cultivating mushrooms, 10,000 cubic metres; and
(b) in any other case, 1,000 cubic metres."​

and the question is whether "any other place occupied by the person producing the waste or using the compost" means

any place physically occupied by that person (what you say); or

any place which that person both physically occupies and has an enforceable legal right to occupy (what the EA say)​

My immediate reaction is that where there is no definition given, the start point is always that words have their natural meaning

"occupies" seems to me to mean just that, "occupies". If it was meant to say controls, owns, or is entitled to occupy then it could, should and would say so

the best parallel I can think of is the Occupiers Liability Acts 1957 and 1984. You might want to see what you can find on how 'occupier' has been defined in the cases under those acts. A quick google (memory fails me !) suggests this as a start point:

"The acknowledged test for 'occupation' can be found in the case of Wheat -v- Lacon [1966] AC 552. It was said ...... "Wherever a person has a sufficient degree of control over premises that he ought to realise that any failure on his part to use care may result in injury to a person lawfully there ......"

Note in that context, actual control, not legal entitlement

In my (initial!) view, occupier does not mean owner, lessee, tenant etc - it means occupier, and that is a 'physical' not a 'legal ownership' concept

I could see that it might be easy to stretch this to 'lawfully occupies', but a bare oral licence (i.e. permission) would do for that I think

Hope this helps get you going
I'd concur with CM's analyisis. In Land Law the dispute and juresprudance that does exist on the question of what constitutes 'Actual Occupation' all seem to involve cases of overriding Interests and the rights laid down in section 70(1)(c) of the Land registration Act 1925, This clearly isn't that helpful.

A little more reading around the subject lead me to examine the Agricultural Holdings Act 1986 and Agricultural Tennancies Act 1985 neither of which have a definition of Occupation beyond the plain meaning. But it would appear that the term used in this sense is applied to any use of Agricultural land with the agreement of the landowner, not necessarily bound by a tennancy or useage.

Not much help i'm afraid :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I think I see

the exemption is :

" 12.-(1) Composting biodegradable waste at the place where the waste is produced or where the compost is to be used, or at any other place occupied by the person producing the waste or using the compost, if the total quantity of waste being composted at that place at any time does not exceed-
(a) in the case of waste composted or to be composted for the purposes of cultivating mushrooms, 10,000 cubic metres; and
(b) in any other case, 1,000 cubic metres."​

and the question is whether "any other place occupied by the person producing the waste or using the compost" means

any place physically occupied by that person (what you say); or

any place which that person both physically occupies and has an enforceable legal right to occupy (what the EA say)​

My immediate reaction is that where there is no definition given, the start point is always that words have their natural meaning

"occupies" seems to me to mean just that, "occupies". If it was meant to say controls, owns, or is entitled to occupy then it could, should and would say so

the best parallel I can think of is the Occupiers Liability Acts 1957 and 1984. You might want to see what you can find on how 'occupier' has been defined in the cases under those acts. A quick google (memory fails me !) suggests this as a start point:

"The acknowledged test for 'occupation' can be found in the case of Wheat -v- Lacon [1966] AC 552. It was said ...... "Wherever a person has a sufficient degree of control over premises that he ought to realise that any failure on his part to use care may result in injury to a person lawfully there ......"

Note in that context, actual control, not legal entitlement

In my (initial!) view, occupier does not mean owner, lessee, tenant etc - it means occupier, and that is a 'physical' not a 'legal ownership' concept

I could see that it might be easy to stretch this to 'lawfully occupies', but a bare oral licence (i.e. permission) would do for that I think

Hope this helps get you going
I'd concur with CM's analyisis. In Land Law the dispute and juresprudance that does exist on the question of what constitutes 'Actual Occupation' all seem to involve cases of overriding Interests and the rights laid down in section 70(1)(c) of the Land registration Act 1925, This clearly isn't that helpful.

A little more reading around the subject lead me to examine the Agricultural Holdings Act 1986 and Agricultural Tennancies Act 1985 neither of which have a definition of Occupation beyond the plain meaning. But it would appear that the term used in this sense is applied to any use of Agricultural land with the agreement of the landowner, not necessarily bound by a tennancy or useage.

Not much help i'm afraid :(
Far from it, both very useful thankyou chaps. An increasing part of my consultancy role is defending clients from ill applied opinion by the EA. If they are right fair do's, if not they should not be able to disadvantage operators who are trying to diversify and recycle....... Oh yeah, it also stops stuff being needlessly landfilled.

I'll let you know how I get on.

Once again many thanks:)
 
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