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A working group set up to look at Pembrokeshire’s estates has been reviewing the county’s 44 council owned farms.

It did not look at the “strategic future” of the county farm estates but rather the performance and future pressures, the chairman of the group Cllr Michael Evans said on Thursday (September 19).

It also reviewed whether the letting policy was fit for purpose and looked for opportunities to “maximise” the estate’s use through diversification or alternative use.

He added : “Personally I support the current policy to look at all assets as and when they come available to see if they are to be retained or have an alternative use or to be disposed.”

A key finding was the need for “appropriate external support be made available to assist the existing Property Team and increase their capacity to undertake; i) a full farm estate inspection, and; ii) an evaluation of changes to the estate that will need to be put in place by the authority concerning the new Agri-Pollution regulations.”

A consultation, aimed not only at farm tenants but the wider community, was launched at the County Show and runs until September 24. As of September 11 there had been 89 responses.

Cllr Elwyn Morse supported the estate and its ability to give “people an opportunity to enter into farming” as he reminded the policy and pre-decision scrutiny committee that one award winning farm was only 35 acres.

Referencing a last-minute community bid to take over Trecadwgan Farm near Solva after it had been listed for auction, Cllr Bob Kilmister said a policy would be developed to avoid further issues.

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