Council sell-off sparks unrest down the farm

Ten people, three cows, two pigs, several sheep and a carthorse occupied an empty 80-acre farm in the village of Chiselborough, Near Yeovil in Somerset on Friday.

They were protesting against the council auctioning off the publicy owned farm next month as part of spate of similar sell-offs.

Balham Hill's farm shop was scrubbed down during the occupation and started selling milk, meat and vegetables, and then as more animals arrived, they were put out to graze as the occupation continued.

One local said:
"Here is this wonderful small county farm, owned by the people of Somerset, about to be broken up and floggged off for pony paddocks. The house will probably go as a second home and the land will make £500,000,".

Local smallholder and land campaigner Simon Fairlie said: "We're not going to do anything illegal, but we're going to stay here as long as we possibly can.

"If the council agrees not to sell the farm and withdraw it from sale, which is what everybody in the locality wants, then we'll move straight away."

Five farms owned by the council have been sold recently, earning £3.6m.

As of going to press, about twelve people were involved in the occupation, and Somerset council had started legal proceedings for an eviction.

Posted By

Apr 15 2006 11:18


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