Neighbours of a Derbyshire farmer have accused him of using “bullying” tactics after he dumped 30 foot high stacks of hay bales outside their homes.
The locals believe the bales of hay were put there deliberately after a planning application to run a waste processing site made by farmer Richard Barton, 44, was rejected.
Mr Barton is said to have intentionally left 30 tonnes of hay piled high on trailers in Ockbrook, Derby, in order to create an eyesore for his neighbours.
The trailers are parked in a field adjacent to the back gardens of several £500,000 detached properties.
Planning proposals rejected
Peter Shaw, 55, who lives with his wife Helen, 50, has urged Mr Barton to move the hay, which was dropped off by a truck last Thursday.
Mr Shaw believes that the farmer’s actions are a direct result of his planning proposals being rejected.
“The farmer has been trying to put a planning application through now for the past eight years,” said the neighbour.
“He wants to create a site to process waste.
“The application has been rejected, not just by ourselves but by the whole village.”
Resident Andrew Dale, 61 and his wife Jillian Dale, 59, have also been affected by the hay bales.
“It’s just mindless spite and there’s not much we can do. This has nothing to do with his farming – its all about the planning application,” said Mr Dale.
“We feel like he’s looking for loopholes.
“The last time we had a conversation about it, he threatened to rip my hedges out.”
A potential fire risk?
Although residents raised fears that the hay bales could pose a fire risk, the local fire brigade have advised that they currently pose no danger.
“The storing of these types of bales is done safely and responsibly across the whole of the country and as a result,” said a spokesperson for Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service.
“There is no cause for concern relating to this type of storage in its current state.
“If in the future the situation changes and this poses a risk of fire, then the fire and rescue service will do everything in its power to reduce that risk to the surrounding residents and property.”