Welsh council land sell-off limits farmer opportunities

Wales’ county farms property seems set to proceed its lengthy-time period regular decline, with the influence of gross sales of sizeable blocks being exacerbated by no new land being purchased instead.

The newest Annual Report on Local Authority Smallholdings in Wales covers 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021 and was produced by the Welsh authorities primarily based on statistical info offered by the nation’s 22 unitary authorities.

As of 31 March 2021, the full space of land held by native authorities in Wales for smallholding functions was simply over 38,491 acres, of which about 32,032 acres have been let as smallholdings with a home and/or buildings.

See additionally: How tenants may benefit from pure capital initiatives

In comparability, the earlier report confirmed land held by native authorities was simply over 38,776 acres, of which about 32,371 acres have been let as smallholdings.

The knowledge from the Welsh Agricultural Survey for June 2021 gave the full space of farms and customary land as about 4.85m acres, which means the smallholdings account for about 1% of the land.

Land possession

The authorities recorded as proudly owning probably the most land have been Powys (10,448 acres), Isle of Anglesey (5,793 acres), Pembrokeshire (5,118 acres), Carmarthenshire (3,358 acres) and Gwynedd (2,995 acres) – the identical high 5 because the earlier 12 months.

Those with the least land have been Cardiff (44 acres), Merthyr Tydfil (79 acres), Bridgend (99 acres), Vale of Glamorgan (120 acres) and Torfaen (140 acres) – much like the previous report.

Rhondda Cynon Taff reported proudly owning one acre regardless of reporting proudly owning no land for the 2 earlier years.

For the second consecutive 12 months, Ceredigion was included within the report with zero acres, a big drop from 2019 when it reportedly owned about 700 acres.

According to the equipped knowledge, no authorities acquired land throughout these 12 months, matching the earlier interval.

Meanwhile, 5 authorities disposed of a complete of 278 acres for £2.8m:

  • Denbighshire 129 acres, £995,000
  • Flintshire 10 acres, £94,716
  • Monmouthshire 48 acres, no value recorded
  • Powys 19 acres, £595,000
  • Torfaen 73 acres, £1.1m.

The different 17 authorities have been recorded as having no actions through the 12 months.

In 2020, eight councils (Caerphilly, Carmarthenshire, Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Monmouthshire, Pembrokeshire and Powys) disposed of 507 acres for £7.6m.

For 2021, the income account of smallholdings authorities in Wales confirmed a complete revenue of simply over £4.18m in opposition to a complete expenditure of £1.43m, giving an operational surplus of simply above £2.75m.

This was down barely on the 2020 complete revenue of £4.4m and operational surplus a bit of above £3m.

Welsh county smallholdings – farm dimension and tenancies

2021 2020
Smallholding numbers 896 949
Smaller than 50 acres 531 580
50-100 acres 226 228
Larger than 100 acres 139 141
Tenants 809 850
Tenancies 958 947
Holdings 896 949
FBTs 458 434
AHAs 203 202
Other tenancies 297 311
New tenancies 200 202
New tenancies,
new entrants
21 10
New tenancies,
present tenants
179 192
Tenancies terminated 30 54 (34 by Rhondda
Cynon Taff)

The Tenant Farmers Association says…

The Welsh authorities report signifies that it has achieved a lot better in acquiring info from its native authorities, with all native authorities offering info, versus the report for England, when solely 31 of 43 councils responded.

While the 12 months-on-12 months lack of land from the sector is comparatively low at simply over 270 acres, it’s disappointing that not one of the native authorities promoting land took steps to switch it.

As in England, it’s fascinating to notice that, general, the smallholdings property is delivering a considerable monetary surplus to native authorities in Wales – simply over £2.75m.

This reveals that, if managed properly, these estates can ship on the core objective of offering opportunities for people to enter farming and delivering wider public and societal advantages, whereas additionally offering important revenue for funding frontline council providers.

This truth is usually neglected when native authorities search to eliminate property.

Welsh rural affairs minister Lesley Griffiths has requested the Tenancy Working Group to take a look at a method for county farms, alongside its principal intention of making certain tenant farmers can entry new help schemes.

George Dunn, Tenant Farmers Association chief government

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