A council has been criticised for ‘trying to plug a hole in its finances’ by continuing to dispose of its agricultural holdings.
The latest farm to be sold by Flintshire Council is a 29-hectare (72-acre) dairy unit.
It is one of 30 farms earmarked for disposal as the local authority looks to claw back £14.5 million in debt.
George Dunn, chief executive of the Tenant Farmers Association (TFA), said: “The TFA opposed the decision of Flintshire Council made in 2013 to dispose of its estate.
“This is another example of a local authority attempting to plug a hole in its finances by selling income earning assets which it should be better managing both for the benefit of council tax payers and for the farming community.”
Farmers said the decision came as a huge blow to young farmers and new entrants, who traditionally used this type of holding to get their foot on the farming ladder.
“This is another example of a local authority attempting to plug a hole in its finances by selling income earning assets”
- George Dunn
Mr Dunn warned farm estates and agricultural land must be better managed at a more central level to better provide sustainability and land protection.
He said: “This adds weight to the argument that there needs to be a greater degree of central co-ordination of these assets.
“The Welsh Government has considered this in the past and the TFA would urge it to look again at the possibility of protecting these important assets for the nation.”
Cefn Farm will be sold at public auction on Tuesday, July 11, at Old Padeswood Golf Club, Mold.
Just weeks after it came to light Herefordshire Council had failed to disclose sections of a Fisher German report which advised only the partial sale of its estate, the first farm had its final farm sale.