Council farm misplaced for nitrate mitigation functions – Farmers


Wiltshire County Council plans to make use of certainly one of its farms for nitrate mitigation functions.

Roundbarrow Farm, a Grade 3 dairy unit close to Salisbury, is about to be taken out of manufacturing and utilized by the council as a part of a Nutrient Mitigation scheme to offset different developments within the county.

An estimated £500,000 had beforehand been spent by the council in fastened tools and this funding has now been deserted, stated the Tenant Farmers Affiliation (TFA).

See additionally: Nutrient scheme plans unveiled to ease planning backlog

The council named the value of the nitrogen credit as its principal consideration.

Nitrogen offsetting credit for Roundbarrow Farm shall be priced at £2,500 for 1kg nitrogen (plus authorized and administration charges) to make sure there may be satisfactory income to cowl the lack of farm rental earnings for between 80 and 125 years, based on the council’s report.

This value can be anticipated to assist to handle future dangers from coverage and authorized modifications and make sure the scheme is delivered efficiently.

Nutrient neutrality necessities

The implementation of latest nutrient neutrality guidelines has created giant backlogs for planning functions, with some developments delayed by greater than 18 months.

This requires mitigation measures to be taken to negate the nitrogen and phosphate affect of developments, as a part of the planning course of.

Nutrient Mitigation schemes have to run for a lot of a long time, with land taken out of manufacturing for nature conservation and pure capital aims. On this case the council report refers to between 80 and 125 years.

Business response

The TFA has expressed its disappointment to Wiltshire County Council for undermining its position in utilizing council-owned smallholdings to assist new entrants.

TFA chief government George Dunn stated the council has been lowering the dimensions of its property for a while. He desires to see county council smallholdings maintained, enhanced, and used for progressive farmers.

Mr Dunn stated: “The needs of native authorities having this land is about out fairly clearly inside the 1970 Agriculture Act and they’re about offering alternatives to people to be farmers in their very own account.

“However right here now we have an area authority that appears to be utilizing its farmland as a foundation to help it in assembly its growth aims elsewhere within the county.”

Different schemes

That is the primary recognized try by a council to repurpose certainly one of its council farms as a part of a Nutrient Mitigation scheme.

A comparable scheme has been established by Havant Borough Council, which bought a long-term lease on a farm to make use of for nitrogen credit.

Wiltshire County Council’s complete farming property contains 30 farms and covers 1,972ha, with the bulk being dairy farms.

Present hire on the property varies from £75/ha for seasonal short-term grass keep-type lets, to greater than £495/ha on a few of the bigger farms.

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