After getting accused of being a bully for putting up a 30 feet wall of straw bales on his land next to his neighbors, the farmer in question hit back at the wealthy villagers who complained due to having their view obstructed by the wall.
According to several Ockbrook, Derbyshire, homeowners, one farmer named Richard Barton built a massive ‘wall’ by placing 30 tons of straw on the trailers on the field adjacent to their £500,000 properties.
They believe that the farmer did this on purpose to get his revenge after his application to establish a waste processing site at his farm got rejected.
The farmer, however, has responded by saying he did “nothing wrong.”
Though the villagers claim he refuses to speak with them, Mr. Barton said:
“Tactics? I’m a farmer. It’s got nothing to do with planning application for a waste processing site. Where am I supposed to put my bales?
“They are selfish – all they think about is themselves. All they want to see is green land but I don’t even get that view and it’s my farm.
“I’ve got my property here, I can’t put them on my drive because there’s no space – I got sheds in the way too.
“There’s a dual carriageway on the other side I can’t put them. They’re making a straw mountain out of a molehill.
“I put them in the middle of the field and they complained about that and the council told me to move them. Now I’ve moved them they’re complaining again.
“All they’ve done for the past few years is try and portray me some horrible neighbour and horrible person.”
One of the residents, 55-year-old Peter Shaw, moved into the house adjacent to Barton’s land in 2004 together with his 50-year-old wife Helen. They fear that the straw poses a fire hazard and continue to urge the farmer to move the bales.
“The farmer won’t speak to you, I have tried. He’s just a bully. I truly believe it is just something we are going to have to live with now.
“I have contact everyone and anyone that I possibly can and nothing seems to getting done about it.
“It feels as though there is one rule for one person and another rule for others. It’s an eyesore – I’m not sure they are even stored correctly.
“He’s put 30 tonnes on a trailer. First, the lorries came and they were full of hay bales and he put them in place one by one. So we’ve got three in a row.
“More and more bales were put on top – there might be a row of seven or eight – I’m not entirely sure now. You can see it from the road, you can see it from the footbridge.
“It’s about ten meters from my home – if they were to fall then they would destroy my garden,” Shaw elaborated.
Mr. Barton, however, is not ready to give up. “It’s not their fields – I live literally next to the bales too. The fire brigade have come out and said it’s not a fire risk.
“I don’t know why they called me a bully – I’m not a bully. I’ve lived here my whole life – my mum and dad have lived here too – we’ve always farmed.
“I’ve never not farmed and they’re telling the council I don’t farm. I’ve got crops to prove it – I’ve had crops every year.
“I was told by the council that a normal farmer would stack their bales in a big pile in their yard – which is what I’ve done. They’re just twisting things.
“It all started because I got planning permission to build an agricultural shed nothing else. The council gave me permission to do it and told me where to put it and so I started it.
“They went ballistic saying that it was going to ruin their view and devalue their property. Ever since 2014 they have constantly been reporting us for everything,” the farmer explained.
61-year-old Andrew Dale and his 59-year-old wife Jillian who have also been living on the Cole Road for dozens of years said:
“This all happened last Thursday – I was at work but I know he starting bringing trailers in the early morning.
“By the time I got home from work it was stacking up and by Saturday it was as you see it now. I think he only stopped because he physically couldn’t fit any more on.
“This is all to do with a planning application by him – he wishes to run a waste processing site on his land. It was rejected by the whole village.
“If he got it there was would be a lot of trucks, noise and dirt and dust. The turning into Cole Road isn’t the safest either – we’ve had a number of accidents here – this would only increase that.
“Ten days ago the borough council told him to clean up his land. I mean there is no definition of the waste, it could be anything.
“It’s just mindless spite and there’s not much we can do. This has nothing to do with his farming – it’s all about the planning application.
“We feel like he’s looking for loopholes. The last time we had a conversation about it he threatened to rip my hedges out.”
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