Fens farm says mobile homes needed for migrant workers as they can’t recruit locals prepared to work the long hours required

13:09 30 May 2014

Existing caravans at Somerset Farm, Cant

Existing caravans at Somerset Farm, Cant's Drove, Murrow

Archant

A Fenland farm hoping to be allowed to keep mobile homes to house its temporary work force says they are needed because no casual labour is available locally.

Dale and Burgoyne Ltd of Somerset Farm, Murrow, told Fenland planners: “It is not possible to employ casual labour locally. As with many businesses within farming we use migrant and non local labour”.

And the farming firm said it was unlikely local people would want the long hours associated with the jobs.

“The viability of our business relies upon the implementation of intensive farming methods which by their nature attract migrant labour as these workers accept the long working hours required,” it said in a report to Fenland Council.

The farm, which says it began work on the mobile homes in 2011 but only started using them last December, has been told by council officials it must have planning permission for them.

The 100 acre farm rears 1,300 head of beef cattle, harvests around 12,000 tonnes of wheat and barley straw and operates a 500kwh anaerobic digestion plant.

Somerset Farm has 12 full time employees “made of up local, non local and migrant workers” but in their application to Fenland Council say the labour requirement is not constant.

“At times as little as three workers are required: at the peak of the season 12 workers are required. At quiet times of the year accommodated employees go home for extended rest periods, while locally employed staff covers their duties,” says the company.

The farm says their problem is that there is no affordable accommodation locally and even it was it would be “unlikely to have the flexible arrangements required for the employment of the casual worker”.

Fenland planners are now considering the application.

1 comment

  • Certainly hope this gets through. Those guys work so unbelievably hard and as in all farming operations getting the job done when the weather allows is paramount.

    Report this comment

    MM

    Friday, May 30, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

More news stories

Rose Barn, Ely Road, Sutton

Events venue Rose Barn on the A142 at Sutton is facing a thorny future after planners told them continued use will result in uncontrolled parking of cars and coaches and threaten highway safety.

11:50
Proposed site of 126 homes in Soham recommended for approval

A 12-acre site on the outskirts of Soham is expected to win approval next week for 120 homes – with an extra six plots set aside for self build.

Health and Happiness Previous, Ely: (L-R) Eleanor Priestnall, Sarah Porter, Jackie Brisbane, Cllr Joshua Schumann, Lewis Badge, Liz Knox

The countdown has begun for East Cambridgeshire Health and Wellbeing Partnership’s flagship Health and Happiness Day, which will be taking place at Ely Country Park this September.

10:22
Police posted this atmospheric photo of a Cambs police car with a back drop of balloons taking part in an international competition at Pidley

Hundreds of followers of Cambs Police on Twitter and Facebook have voted this one of the top photos of the year.

Most read stories

Most commented stories

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Ely Standard e-edition E-edition
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up