Search Legislation

Agriculture Act (Northern Ireland) 1949

 Help about what version

What Version

  • Latest available (Revised)
  • Original (As enacted)
 Help about advanced features

Advanced Features

More Resources

Changes over time for:

 Help about opening options

Changes to legislation:

There are currently no known outstanding effects for the Agriculture Act (Northern Ireland) 1949. Help about Changes to Legislation


Changes to Legislation

Revised legislation carried on this site may not be fully up to date. At the current time any known changes or effects made by subsequent legislation have been applied to the text of the legislation you are viewing by the editorial team. Please see ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ for details regarding the timescales for which new effects are identified and recorded on this site.

N.I.Rules of Good Husbandry

15Good husbandry.N.I.

For the purposes of this Act, agricultural land shall be deemed to be maintained in good condition and to be farmed in accordance with the rules of good husbandry if it is being farmed (as respects both the kind of operations carried out and the way in which they are carried out) so as, having regard to its nature, situation and other relevant circumstances (including the methods of farming practised in the locality), to maintain a reasonable standard of efficient production, as respects both the kind of produce and the quality and quantity thereof, while being kept in a condition to enable such a standard to be maintained in the future. In determining whether land is being farmed as aforesaid, regard shall be had not only to the extent to which the fertility of the soil is being maintained but also to the protection and treatment of crops and pasture and to the general care, upkeep and management of the farm as a whole for the purposes of the particular type of farming carried out on the farm.

16Service of improvement notice in respect of badly farmed land.N.I.

(1)Where the Ministry is satisfied that any agricultural land is not being maintained in good condition or farmed in accordance with the rules of good husbandry, the Ministry may, after affording to the occupier of that land an opportunity of having representations made in writing or, if the occupier so desires, orally by the occupier in person or by some other occupier of agricultural land or other person nominated by the occupier for the purpose, to the Ministry or to a person or persons appointed by the Ministry to report to it on the condition of, and method of farming, the land, serve on the occupier a written notice (in this Act referred to as an “improvement notice”) to that effect.

F1[(2)Any improvement notice served under this Part of this Act shall be registered by the Ministry in accordance with the provisions of Part X of the Land Registration Act (Northern Ireland) 1970 [1970 c.18] and, so long as such notice continues in force, shall apply to the land to which the notice relates.]

(3)The Ministry shall, on the request of any person who—

(a)claims by virtue of any conacre, agistment or other agreement any right to use any agricultural land as such; or

(b)satisfies the Ministry that he is the owner of any agricultural land or of any estate or interest therein or that an estate or interest therein may vest in him on or at any time subsequent to the determination of the estate or interest of the occupier therein,

afford both to such person and to the occupier an opportunity of making representations to the Ministry under sub-section (1) of this section against the service of an improvement notice relating to that land.

(4)If while an improvement notice is in force in relation to any agricultural land additional land becomes occupied by the same occupier and is farmed in conjunction therewith the notice shall, if the Ministry so determines, extend by virtue of such determination to the additional land and shall be registered accordingly [F1 by the Ministry pursuant to the provisions of Part X of the Land Registration Act (Northern Ireland) 1970 [1970 c.18] ]:

Provided that nothing in this or the next succeeding sub-section shall be construed as imposing on any occupier any liability with respect to the additional land on a date before the commencement of his occupation thereof.

(5)For the purposes of giving effect to the last preceding sub-section references in this Act to the land to which an improvement notice relates shall be construed as including references to any additional land to which the notice extends by virtue of a determination of the Ministry under that sub-section; and references in this Act to the service of an improvement notice shall be construed as references to the date on which the notice was originally served as well in relation to such additional land as in relation to any other land to which the notice relates.

17Appeal against an improvement notice.N.I.

(1)Within one month from the service of an improvement notice, the person served with such notice and any person entitled to make representations against the service thereof may in accordance with such county court rules as may be made in that behalf appeal to the county court F2... and that court, whose decision shall be final, shall have power to confirm, modify or cancel the notice.

(2)For the purpose of hearing appeals under this section the county court judge shall be assisted by two assessors, one of whom shall be appointed by the Ministry and the other shall be appointed by such organisation as appears to the Ministry to represent the interests of the farmers in the area in which the land is situate:

Provided that where such organisation neglects or fails to appoint such other assessor within a period of ten days after being asked by the Ministry to do so, the Ministry may itself appoint such other assessor.

F3(3). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

18Duration of improvement notices.N.I.

(1)Where an improvement notice is in force and the Ministry is satisfied that it is no longer necessary that such improvement notice should continue in force, the Ministry may cancel the notice either in whole or in part, but the cancellation of the notice or part thereof shall not affect any direction made thereunder in so far as such direction is in force immediately before such cancellation.

(2 ) …F4any transfer of any interest in land to which an improvement notice relates other than a transfer by a testamentary disposition or by operation of law, whereby some other person becomes the occupier of that land, shall not affect the continued operation of the notice in relation to that land and accordingly the notice shall, subject to the provisions of this section, continue in force in so far as it relates to that land.

(3)So long as an improvement notice continues in force the Ministry shall, from time to time, review the condition of the land to which the notice relates, and—

(a)a review shall be held under this sub-section as soon as may be after the expiration of twelve months from the service of the notice and, where one or more than one review of the notice has already been held under this sub-section, a further review shall be held as soon as may be after the expiration of twelve months from the last such review;

(b)the Ministry shall, on any review held under this sub-section, afford to any person, who, if an improvement notice were being served immediately before that review, would be entitled to make representations against the service thereof, a like opportunity of making representations for the cancellation or modification of the improvement notice under review.

(4)Subject to the foregoing provisions of this section an improvement notice shall, to the extent to which it has not been cancelled by the Ministry or by a county court pursuant to the provisions of this Part of this Act, remain in force for the period of five years occurring next after the service thereof, so however that, without prejudice to the provisions of sub-section (1) of section thirty-two of the Interpretation Act, 1889 [1889 c.63] , as applied to Acts of the Parliament of Northern Ireland by the Interpretation Act, 1921 [1921 c.4] F5, the Ministry, notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this sub-section, may, where it is satisfied that the land to which the improvement notice relates should after the expiration of such period continue to be, or should at any subsequent time be, treated as unsatisfactorily farmed, serve, at any time during the two months immediately preceding such expiration or at any subsequent time, a further improvement notice or notices relating to the land or any part thereof. For the removal of doubt it is hereby declared that the provisions of this Part of this Act relating to the service, duration and effect of improvement notices and to appeals against such notices shall apply with respect to every further improvement notice served by the Ministry in accordance with this sub-section.

(5)The provisions of this Part of this Act relating to the duration of improvement notices and to the operation of directions given thereunder shall have effect notwithstanding anything contained in section fifty-five of the Irish Land Act, 1903 [1903 c.37] , regarding the compulsory sale of certain holdings by the Ministry of Finance.

Back to top


Print Options


Legislation is available in different versions:

Latest Available (revised):The latest available updated version of the legislation incorporating changes made by subsequent legislation and applied by our editorial team. Changes we have not yet applied to the text, can be found in the ‘Changes to Legislation’ area.

Original (As Enacted or Made): The original version of the legislation as it stood when it was enacted or made. No changes have been applied to the text.


See additional information alongside the content

Geographical Extent: Indicates the geographical area that this provision applies to. For further information see ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.

Show Timeline of Changes: See how this legislation has or could change over time. Turning this feature on will show extra navigation options to go to these specific points in time. Return to the latest available version by using the controls above in the What Version box.


Opening Options

Different options to open legislation in order to view more content on screen at once


More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources

Timeline of Changes

This timeline shows the different points in time where a change occurred. The dates will coincide with the earliest date on which the change (e.g an insertion, a repeal or a substitution) that was applied came into force. The first date in the timeline will usually be the earliest date when the provision came into force. In some cases the first date is 01/02/1991 (or for Northern Ireland legislation 01/01/2006). This date is our basedate. No versions before this date are available. For further information see the Editorial Practice Guide and Glossary under Help.