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Angus farm development could breach human rights, claim residents

David Mackay with the field that is planned for the tunnels.
David Mackay with the field that is planned for the tunnels.

Residents on an Angus estate are investigating whether a controversial farm development is a breach of their human rights.

David Mackay, who owns one of the eight properties at the estate, said the installation of 50 acres of polytunnels goes against Article 8 which requires respect to be shown for the right to private and family life.

He said: “We have also sought advice from the Herefordshire Campaign to Protect Rural England, who are currently fighting similar projects and the charity Planning Aid Scotland in order to formulate an effective objection strategy based on the numerous safety issues involving flooding, tunnel stability and noise in the high winds we experience here.

“In addition to this, there will be a gross invasion of our privacy here by having a 50 acre industrial strawberry production operation, literally feet from our properties, and the noise from the huge numbers of workers, and continual agricultural vehicle movement in such close proximity – all of which will result in a substantial reduction in the quality of our life here and our property values.”

Residents at the former estate known as Redcastle Farm at Lunan Bay first became aware of the development when they noticed heavy goods vehicles transporting polytunnel frames over the private farm road.

Mr Mackay said: “We have no objection whatsoever to any other field that Geddes have here or nearby.

“As I have pointed out, no other field of theirs directly impacts of any other property, as there are none – only we are affected.

“We will be ready to fight this when the objection process avails itself.”

Angus Council said the polytunnels as proposed “do not constitute permitted development” and wrote to Geddes Farms giving them seven days to respond with their proposed course of action.

A spokeswoman for Angus Council said: “Geddes’s solicitor have responded within the requested timescale and discussions are ongoing to establish the appropriate course of action to take.”

Officers previously gave “clear advice” to the landowner that it would not be in their interests to proceed with works before it has been established if planning permission is required.

A spokesman for Geddes Farms said the company would not be making any comment at this time but confirmed they were still waiting for the council to come back to them.

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