Rural housing issues a barrier to retiring farmers and new entrants

A new report – Farmers, Retirement and Housing in the United Kingdom: A review of the issues, experiences and possible answers – looks at the impact of access to housing for retiring farmers, and the subsequent impact on the industry.

Released today by University College of Estate Management (UCEM), The Central Association of Agricultural Valuers (CAAV), The Prince’s Countryside Fund, Royal Agricultural University and Northumbrian Water Group, with support from a steering group including Addington Fund, the report identifies and examines the measures needed to enable those who wish to retire from the agricultural industry to do so without fear or hardship.

Ashley Wheaton, UCEM Principal, explains: “Issues with the provision of housing can provide significant obstacles to those looking to retire. Encouraging a fresh perspective that retirement can be both desirable and feasible requires a range of enabling measures, and consequent structural change. Farmers will need to be supported by flexible advice and facilitation, taking into account differing access to capital, sites and income, as well as tenure and other factors.

“This paper has considered a wide range of issues in understanding and tackling the practical problems around farming retirement and housing. The next steps are about turning this work into practical and effective action across the United Kingdom, identifying and sharing good practice to encourage progressively better performance.”

Jeremy Moody, Secretary and Adviser to The Central Association of Agricultural Valuers, adds: “Taking this work forward will be about encouraging imaginative practice, proactive and positive behaviour and innovative solutions among all, from local planning authorities to families considering their future or discussions within landlord/tenant relationships.”

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About The Author

John Swire - Deputy editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.