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.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    MM

    Friday, May 30, 2014

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

Yesterday, 16:54
Juris Valujevs

Two men who “ruled by fear” to exploit migrant workers in Fenland have been sentenced.

Yesterday, 11:21

A 42-year-old man from Chatteris has been arrested on suspicion of inciting a child under 16 to engage in sexual activity.

Yesterday, 11:13
Officers would like to speak to these two women

Images of two women wanted in connection with an assault on a 73 year-old man from March have been released by British Transport Police.

Yesterday, 15:16
The Gran Forno format is coming to Cambridgeshire.

Cycling fanatics will get to rub shoulders with elite riders when the first ever Tour of Cambridgeshire is held in June 6-7.

Most read stories

E-edition