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Controversial dairy farm to get new owners

A dairy farm accused by neighbours of causing a stink may soon have new owners and no more milking cows.

A Department of Health spokeswoman told The Royal Gazette yesterday: “The Department of Health is aware of discussions ongoing between Green Land Dairy Farm and potential buyers.

“Officials from the department are monitoring the discussions and assisting to ensure that, whatever the outcome, the current issues will be resolved.”

Michael Dunkley, MP for Smith's North, whose family milk business is the farm's only customer, said: “I'm aware there have been some discussions about a sale. I'm not aware that it's actually been finalised.”

Mr Dunkley, a former One Bermuda Alliance premier, added that owners Valter and Lidia Medeiros had carried out “significant work” to try to resolve the manure smell that sparked complaints from neighbours.

He said it was “very clear” that the potential buyer planned to make tackling the problem “one of the No 1 priorities”.

They were speaking after senior environmental health officer Armell Thomas suggested last week that the sale had been completed.

Mr Thomas wrote an e-mail to area residents last week saying that the farm had been sold and would be taken over on November 1, although he did not name the buyer.

Mr Thomas said in the e-mail: “The new owner knows the current issues and nuisance the farm has created for the past year and more.

“The owner is keen to resolve the stench immediately. I only found out about this today, as the new owner came to visit me at my office to inform me and our team.

“He has a plan for the smell and he will occupy three farms. He would move the milking cows to Spittal Pond; he would send the heifers to St George's.”

Mr Thomas thanked residents for their patience over the smell problem.

He added: “The new owner's first priority is to reduce the nuisance complaints and move forward in the best possible way for the public.

“I will not release the new owner's name until it's made public. He is willing to invest into the farm to improve the standards and conditions, and smell, and implement a feeding management plan to reduce the pigeon population.

“The new owner knows the responsibility and also knows he needs to act fast to resolve this matter.”

Mr and Mrs Medeiros took over Green Land Dairy Farm, on government land at the corner of Store Hill and Middle Road in Smith's, in November 2014.

The couple negotiated a 25-year lease with the Government, the first two years of which were rent-free, to allow them to make $1 million of improvements to what they said was a “broken-down” facility.

The couple gained planning permission for a covered cow shed and a manure pit alongside to create what they said was a far happier environment for their cattle.

However, neighbours complained that the changes created an “unbearable” stench and an “epidemic” of flies and asked environmental health officers to step in.

The farmers pledged this year to install specialist equipment to try to solve the problem.

Mrs Medeiros said at the time: “We are doing everything we can do to try to make things better for our neighbours, but you just can't make some people happy.”

Both Mrs Medeiros and a spokesman for area residents this week declined to comment on the sale.

Ongoing issue: owner Valter Medeiros has tried to resolve the row at Green Land Dairy Farm (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published October 12, 2018 at 9:00 am (Updated October 12, 2018 at 9:24 am)

Controversial dairy farm to get new owners

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