Farmgate house and 9 acres set for new tenant

Manor Farm, Girton

Manor Farm, Girton, the county council owned nine acre smallholding which has been empty since the beginning of last year - Credit: JE

A 16-month search for a new tenant to replace disgraced former county councillor Roger Hickford at Manor Farm, Girton, should be at an end soon. 

A county council spokesperson conceded “we’re almost there” to find an individual or company happy to take on the nine-acre smallholding and farm house.  

Former deputy council leader Roger Hickford quit in early 2021 after resigning from the council – and surrendering the tenancy – in the controversy that became known as farmgate. 

Since then, the house and grounds have remained empty, and various attempts to find a new tenant have been made.  

I understand these to have included safety training company who withdrew interest after failure to secure change of use planning consent.  

A new, non-farming enterprise is now being lined and, according to the council spokesperson, the tenancy “is still working its way through the legal process so as soon as that is concluded I’ll let you know”. 

Hickford quit both the tenancy and resigned all council posts after then council leader Steve Count received a 450-page audit report. 

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The report exposed widespread failings in Hickford’s behaviour.