N Yorks estate is overvalued in view of NFU
CONCERN over the sell-off of North Yorkshire County Councils farms estate has led the NFU to question the £60m vacant possession valuation tag imposed by the local authority.
The union feels that the £13,950/ha (£5500/acre) vacant possession value is excessive, even if the land, houses and other buildings are sold separately.
NFU north-east regional director Richard Ellison and other officials met the councils policy officer on Monday to speak of their anger over the sell-off proposal.
"There is no doubt that the county report is framed in such a way designed to lead councillors to a vacant possession disposal decision."
Mr Ellision said the union had written to council members re-iterating the benefits of the county farms service, produced in a report by the Association of Chief Estates Surveyors and Property Managers last year.
That report agreed the county farm service provided an affordable means of entry into a farm business, a means of reinvigorating the tenanted sector, a valuable source of rural employment and a tangible means of supporting the young farming community.
The Tenant Farmers Association also briefed councillors on Wednesday prior to the councils policy committee meeting. George Dunn, TFA chief executive, said the TFA had not ruled out a legal challenge, claiming county councils were under a duty to provide farm tenancies under the 1970 Agriculture Act.