Report sparked by Norfolk county farm concerns to be made public

County Hall, Norwich.Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

County Hall, Norwich.Picture by SIMON FINLAY. - Credit: Archant Norfolk

The conclusions of a review into Norfolk County Council's £1.7m a year county farms estate, triggered by concerns over the running of the estate, are to be made public this month.

Auditors at County Hall were called in to go through the books of the estate last year, sparked by 'specific criticisms' which had been raised.

The county council had declined to reveal details of what those 'criticisms' were. But the EDP understands one of them centred on allegations a member of staff moved into one of the homes on one of the farms.

It is understood the claim is that a council officer moved into the home – which are meant to be for experienced farmers who are renting farmland – for a short period because he needed somewhere to live.

The farm building was between lets when he is said to have moved in and the officer is understood to have paid rent during his stay.

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In November, the council confirmed a member of staff had been suspended following a meeting of the County Farms Advisory Board.

The governance review was being carried out with support from a senior officer from Broadland District Council and the council has confirmed its publication is imminent.

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A spokeswoman said: 'The governance review into the running of County Farms is almost complete and we expect to be able to publish it by the end of this month.'

Other allegations which are understood to have been made are that various farms were being rented to the same tenant, there were questions over sub-letting, while concerns were raised over the openness of the letting process.

The county council owns 16,200 acres of farmland across Norfolk, which it lets to more than 145 tenants. There are 81 occupied homes on those estates.

• Do you have a council story? Call 01603 772375 or email

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