Shropshire CC tries to sell tenant farms
office at tlio.demon.co.uk
Fri Aug 15 12:06:17 BST 2003
TFA considers legal action Source: FWi 12 August 2003
By Farmers Weekly staff
THE Tenant Farmers Association has not ruled out court action to stop
a county council selling its entire farms estate to a mystery buyer.
Shropshire CC has been trying to dispose of its agricultural holdings
since 1992, but still has 69 tenanted farms, totalling about 3000
acres, on its books.
Now the council has offered the remaining tenants a non-negotiable
chance to purchase their units by the end of the year or face a new,
TFA chief executive George Dunn said such a move could be illegal
under the 1970 Agriculture Act.
This stipulates that county councils have a duty to provide land to
let to people who would otherwise have no way of acquiring a
farm. "We wouldn't rule out a legal challenge."
Andrew Stirling, head of estates, said he was aware of the issue and
had written to Defra for guidance. "So far I have not had a response."
A Defra spokesman said it was taking legal advice concerning its
powers under the 1970 act.
Tenants wishing to purchase their holdings have been asked to make a
commitment by 31 August with a completion deadline of 31 December.
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