Successive governments have considered ‘land of outstanding scenic, historic and scientific interest’ (Inheritance Tax Act 1984) worth maintaining and preserving for the benefit of future generations.
Continued private ownership of heritage property, managed and protected through capital tax relief, is one of the best ways of ensuring its survival, while allowing the public access.
Capital tax exemption (also known as “inheritance tax exemption” or “heritage relief”) is available for land of outstanding interest in the UK, subject to conditions (undertakings) that require owners to maintain the land, preserve its character and provide and publicise reasonable public access.
Assessment of outstanding land is a complex, analytical process that uses agreed criteria.
Reasonable public access is provided as a condition of exemption.
As the Government’s statutory adviser on land in England, Natural England assesses whether land is outstanding, advises on appropriate conditions, monitors exempt property to ensure that conditions are met, and advises on integrated land management and proposals for change.
Contact HM Revenue & Customs who are responsible for designation.
Heritage Management Plans are a useful management tool for complex properties, setting out agreed detailed steps by which owners will meet their undertakings.
Discretionary grants may be available to fund 50% costs of preparing Heritage Management Plans (HMPs) that deliver integrated sustainable management of outstanding land already designated or in the process of designation as conditionally exempt from inheritance tax.
Agri-environment scheme funding may be available for work that goes beyond the requirements of conditional exemption, subject to assessment of eligibility.
Please contact us for advice about outstanding land: