By Local Democracy Reporter

A Lincolnshire organic farm will build accommodation for foreign labourers after Brexit made finding seasonal workforce increasingly difficult.

Up to 60 workers will be allowed to stay at Staples Brothers farm at Sibsey, which supplies organic vegetables to the major supermarkets.

The farm says constantly retraining local agency staff has proved “impractical,” and they want to attract a workforce who will return year after year.

The government’s Seasonal Agricultural Workforce Scheme gives temporary six month visas to farm workers in order to meet the UK’s shortage.

The company’s director Vernon Reed told East Lindsey District Council’s planning committee that the farm wanted to build a well-trained workforce.

“The Sibsey farm is our hub for organic production – hence the need for well-trained and managed workforce. Farms often have to rely on labour from agencies and temporary staff,” he said.

“Unfortunately, we can’t be guaranteed the same personnel from one day to the next. We’re left with the need to retrain staff on a regular basis, which is impractical and time consuming.

The workers would be housed at Station Farm near Sibsey | Photo: Google

“We’ve sought to provide clean accommodation to attract staff year after year.

“Brexit has made sourcing appropriate labour more difficult, and we’ve never been able to source sufficient labour from those living in the UK.”

The accommodation will include 15 on-site lodges which could each sleep up to six people.

There had been concerns from local residents about how the workers were meant to leave the site without their own transport.

Ward Councillor Neil Jones warned: “Station Road is residential but is also a busy B road.

“There is absolutely no provision for people accessing Sibsey without a car. There is no footpath, and they will have to walk along a 50mph road for 400 yards.”

The company said that bikes would be provided and local taxi firms were available.

Councillor Stephen Eyre said: “It’s vitally important that the crops grown in this area delivered as safely and quickly as possible, especially with the cost of living crisis.

“It is the wrong side of a busy road, but that can’t be helped.”

By Local Democracy Reporter

A plan to build accommodation for dozens of farm workers have met resistance from neighbours.

15 caravans would be located at Staple Brothers’ Station Farm in Sibsey, near Boston.

East Lindsey District Council is set to approve the plans at next week’s meeting, but local people claim the road is too dangerous for it.

They say workers would be forced to walk down the grass verge of a busy road in order to get to the nearest village.

It isn’t clear how many people each caravan could house, however only six new parking spaces would be created.

One resident who was concerned about accidents said: “To get to facilities in the centre of Sibsey would require waking on a grass verge for some distance along a busy road. In my opinion, this makes the site unsuitable for caravan accommodation.”

The Environment Agency initially objected due to worries over flood risks and whether the drainage system could cope with the number of caravans.

They later withdrew this after plans were reduced from 20 to 15 caravans and more information was provided on flood prevention measures.

The original plans for on-site caravans at the farm (these have now been scaled back) | Photo: Staple Brothers Ltd

An objection made before the plans were scaled back said: “20 static caravans or 20 new houses, there’s no difference. All require access to local services and would create additional pressures.

“My main concern however is the increase in traffic. Station Road is already a busy and dangerous road. Trying to cross on foot can be dangerous if you are not very quick on your feet.”

Another resident said: “Traffic is extremely busy and potentially dangerous down the road with large lorries and tractors as well as cars.”

The Parish Council said they were concerned that “any consent would effectively set a precedent and this may lead to many more caravans in future being placed on the site.”

A planning committee will meet on Thursday, August 4 to decide the application.

March 29, 2022 8.09 pm

Latest from police: We are very happy to report Dominic was found, just after midnight, near Forty Foot Drain, Holland Fen, safe and well.

Thank you to everyone who helped with information and sharing our appeal.

We are appealing for help to find Dominic, 62 years, who has gone missing from his home address in Sibsey today.

Dominic suffers from dementia and has left his home wearing a black 3/4 length coat, a grey tracksuit and brown trainers.

He may be wearing a hat or have his hood up. He is 6ft tall and medium build.

He may have his tan and white jack russell dog with him.

Depending on how far he has walked, he could have sat down and may be sitting with his head in his hands.

He has links to the New York, Stickney, Heckington, Coningsby, Timberland and Martin area.

He could be anywhere and we are asking for any information that will help us find him. His family are very worried about him.

If you think you have seen Dominic or know where he is, we would like to hear from you. Please call 101 quoting ref 264 of 29 March, or in an emergency call 999.

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