Norfolk land lets ‘offer chance to get foot on farming ladder’
- Credit: Norfolk County Council
Norfolk County Council is seeking tenants for six county farms totalling just under 750 acres.
The authority said it was keen to attract new entrants to farming to give them a chance to get their foot on the farming ladder.
It is running training days in January to help applicants through the application process. This will be specifically designed to help new entrants and those unfamiliar with producing a business plan.
Greg Peck, cabinet member for commercial services and asset management at Norfolk County Council, said: “Farming is a key part of Norfolk’s economy and we want to play our part in strengthening the sector locally. Our county farms provide a unique entry point for new tenants in a highly competitive market.
“We’re also delighted to be able to offer an opportunity for a new care farm in West Walton. Care farming is a growing practice that can bring significant benefits to range of vulnerable groups. That might include those struggling with their mental health, new skills for someone with learning difficulties or placements for those with dementia.”
The first of the lets is 116 acre Mendhams Farm, Hall Road, Outwell, which is part of the Outwell Moors Lodge Estate and is classified as being predominantly Grade 1 and 2 with no restrictions on agricultural use. The farmhouse is a three-bedroom detached house that will be undergoing a full scheme of refurbishment and extension prior to the tenancy starting. There is an existing implement shed and a new general purpose / grain store and lean-to machinery store will be erected prior to tenancy.
The second, 136 acre NCC Farm, Manea Fifties, Welney, forms part of the Welney Farms Estate with land classified as predominantly Grade 1. The farmhouse is a three-bedroom detached bungalow that will undergo a full scheme of refurbishment prior to the tenancy. It also include a general-purpose building/grain store.
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The third, 145 acre New Road Farm, Middle Drove, Marshland St James is part of the Stow & Marshland Estate with mainly Grade 2 land. It includes three-bedroom detached farmhouse that will undergo a full scheme of refurbishment and extension prior to the tenancy commencing.
The fourth is 149 acre Willow Farm, Norwich Road, South Burlingham, which is part of the Burlingham Estate is classified as being predominantly Grade 1 and 2 on the Agricultural Land Classification (ALC) Plan. It has a three-bedroom detached house with oil-fired central heating and several farm buildings including a general purpose building, a lean-to, buildings u-set and a covered yard.
The fifth let available is what the council describes as “a great opportunity” for a new care farm at 132 acre Ingleborough Farm, Mill Road, West Walton.
It forms part of the West Walton Ingleborough Estate and is available in one or two lots. The first is 72 acres of farmland split into four fields and farm buildings. The second 60.02 acre plot is split into six fields and one agricultural building. While there are no restrictions on agricultural use, the council says it is keen to receive applications which seek to develop a care farm, particularly for lot 1.
The sixth opportunity is 69 acres of bare land at Bank Farm Land, Old Roman Bank, Terrington St Clement, Kings Lynn, which is part of the Terrington Estate. There are no restrictions on agricultural use.
Viewing days for each farm will be held in December and attendance at the viewing day is compulsory for those wishing to apply.
Norfolk County Council said 17 new entrants had joined its county farms since 2016 and it was keen to see applications which include proposals for diversification and environmental enhancement. Any successful applicant will be required to retain and maintain the existing margins, hedges and trees planted on the holding, it added.
The closing date for applications is noon on February 28, 2022. Visit www.norfolk.gov.uk/countyfarms for details.
Norfolk County Council has a farm estate of around 17,000 acres. An investigation was launched by Norfolk police following an allegation of fraud in relation to the farm estate. Two men — one in his 50s from Wisbech and another in his 40s from Downham Market — were arrested and released under investigation in December 2020. The police probe is ongoing.