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Farndale Estate tenants to hold public meeting
George Loggie, from the Daffy Caffy, who is threatened with eviction when the premises are sold by the heirs to the Farndale Estate
DISTRAUGHT tenants whose homes are being sold off by the heirs to the Farndale Estate have organised a public meeting in the hope they can band together and find a way to stay in the dale.
The estate, which was inherited by Peter and David Barratt on their father Sir Lawrie’s death, has written to tenants in the hamlets of Farndale announcing plans to sell their properties to meet an inheritance tax bill.
Some tenants have as little seven weeks to leave their homes, including sisters Chloe and Flo Watson who live in next door properties in Low Mill, with six children between them.
Residents are to meet on Monday to discuss legal ways to keep their tight-knit community together.
The sell-offs have devastated the rural community, and many tenants say they will be heartbroken to leave friends and neighbours.
“More and more families are saying they have got the letter from the agents,” said Chloe.
“We are such a tight-knit community, and this is just devastating us. It’s much more than a few people being evicted, because in somewhere like Farndale you can’t just find a house in the next street along.”
The properties are mainly being sold with vacant possession, and some tenants have not had the option to buy their homes.
Chloe said they fear Farndale could become “another Hutton-le-Hole” full of second homes and holiday cottages.
Neighbour Nicky Hollins, who lives in Low Mill with her young daughter, said she felt privileged to live in such a beautiful area, and had even written to Sir Lawrie Barratt to thank him when she first moved in.
“Farndale is such a special place, and that’s just gone now,” she said.
Popular tourist spot the Daffy Caffy, which sees up to 50,000 visitors pass on their way to Farndale’s famous daffodil display each spring, is among those to go on the market.
The cafe’s proprietor George Loggie and his family now face losing their home, as well as their business and livelihood.
“I have four children, and three of them were born here. It’s been their home all their lives,” George said.
Though he has been offered the chance to buy the property, George, who’s in his 60s, said he cannot get a mortgage at his age.
The Barratts’ agents Strutt and Parker said they did not know if the café would remain open after a sale, and said they had nothing further to add to a statement issued a week ago which said the sales had been forced on David Barratt by inheritance tax bills.
The public meeting will take place on Monday at 7pm in Low Mill band room, Farndale.
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