New entrants sought for two Norfolk County Council tenancies

New entrants or progressing tenants are being sought for two holdings in Norfolk, on the County Council’s Burlingham Estate.

Both are to be let on 10-year farm business tenancies (FBTs).

At 208 acres, Poplar Farm, about 10 miles east of Norwich, is the larger of the two and has grade 1 and 2 freely draining slightly acidic loamy soils.

The farm is in winter wheat, winter barley, spring barley and sugar beet, and has also grown vining peas recently.

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A house will be offered locally to go with the holding, which has several general-purpose buildings.

The tenancy runs from 11 October 2023, with a five-year landlord break clause and an annual tenant’s break clause after the first two years.

Almost 37 of the 208 acres is currently taken as a working area for a new gas main and will be returned to Poplar Farm once that work is complete.

Drone view of farmland

Poplar Farm © Norfolk County Council

The 141-acre Oak Farm has the same soil types but is all grade 1 and has a three bedroom, semi-detached house and two sets of general-purpose buildings.  

Oak Farm is down to cereals save for a small grassland acreage and some woodland. Its 10-year FBT has the same break clauses as for Poplar Farm.

The holdings are being let by informal tender, to be submitted by noon on Monday 13 March. Prospective tenants must attend the viewing day on 1 February.

The council is keen to see applications including diversification and environmental enhancement for both farms.

It stated that while recent years had seen few new lettings on the estate, many holdings would become available over the next five years as existing tenants reached retirement.

Norfolk let five new-entrants holdings last year including a new care farm at Ingleborough, West Norfolk, and will offer another two next year.

The council wants enthusiastic, energetic and innovative tenants, with technical ability, who are expected to develop viable businesses as a sole or main form of employment.

It said they should produce quality products that add value and meet local needs, and be able to react to changing circumstances.

The landlord also expects the environmental and social wellbeing of Norfolk residents to be enhanced on the farms, for example by maintaining footpaths and increasing the biodiversity of the holdings.