Somerset County Council-owned farm sells for £1.7m

A farm belonging to Somerset County Council has sold for more than £1.7m - half a million over the guide price.

Pepperhill Farm, near Over Stowey in the Quantock Hills is the 18th council-owned farm to be sold at auction since 2010, a council spokesman said.

In total £18.5m has been raised through the sales. The farms were originally bought in the 1920s and 1930s.

The Conservative-run council says the money will help as it has "huge debts" which cost £33m a year to service.

Cabinet member David Huxtable said: "Sales like these allow us to continue our investments into capital projects such roads and schools buildings without needing to borrow.

"The sales have raised a huge amount of money which we are using to improve vital parts of what the council provides and we are re-investing that income into the areas that need them most, widening the benefit to as many people as possible across the county.

"We are continuing to pay off our huge debts, but debt is still costing £33m a year to service."

A spokesman said money raised from the sale of the farms was classed as capital revenue, meaning the council has to spend the income on building projects and not use it to support frontline services.

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