Farming tenants’ eviction threat

An award-winning Somerset sheep farmer may have to give up his pedigree flock if Council plans to evict him from his home go ahead.

Harold and Hazel Braddick, both in their 70s, have been farming at Bradwell Farm, Barrington, Somerset, for over 40 years, and have been hailed as ambassadors for Somerset agriculture.

Starting out as County Council tenants, they bought their land in 1991 and installed a mobile home so they could care for their 120 Bluefaced Leicester and Llanwenog ewes.

The mobile home required temporary planning permission, which was last renewed in 2000, said Mr Braddick.

“Back then they said we could stay here for the rest of our lives.

“But when we applied for renewal in November the council said it doubted it would extend the permission for more than 12 months – then we would be evicted.”

The couple would probably be relocated to a council house, which would mean they would have to give up their farm.

“It is a huge strain.

We’ve built up great respect and have got regular customers all over the country,” said Mr Braddick.

“We want to go on farming for as long as we can physically carry on.

You feel a bit kicked when they treat you like this after everything.”

After speaking to Farmers Weekly Tegwyn Jones, a spokesman for South Somerset District Council said the council would be happy to look again at Mr Braddick’s case.

Mr Jones encouraged Mr Braddick to make an application for permanent planning permission instead of the temporary claim as he suggested that may have a better chance of success.