16 July 1999

Cornish decision victory for small farm, says TFA

THE Tenant Farmers Association has described Cornwall County Councils decision not to sell its agricultural estate as a "victory for the family farm".

The council had been considering following the lead of other local authorities by selling off all of its 4450ha (11,000-acre) farm estate, but councillors voted this week in favour of retaining the farms.

George Dunn, TFA chief executive, said: "We are really pleased that Cornwall has decided not to sell its farms.

"This is a victory for the family farm and the traditional structure of agriculture in the south-west."

He explained that the TFA had argued that the council had a legislative duty under the 1970 Agriculture Act to provide farms as part of its responsibilities to new entrants and the wider economy.

Wiltshire County Council abandoned its proposed sell-off last year when the TFA used the same argument.