Farmer 'put in fear by abuse over his plans'
AN EGG merchant has spoken of his fears for his family's safety after resubmitting an application to build three poultry units in Stoke Climsland.
The development, put forward by Jamie Hatch of KB Products in Kelly Bray, has been unanimously opposed by the parish council.
Mr Hatch attended one of its meetings to put the case for his original application in February 2012, where it was opposed by seven votes to one.
The meeting heard the visual impact would be limited by three-metre hedges, and lorry movements would average 1.3 per day.
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Mr Hatch already owns poultry units in Kelly Bray and has received no complaints about these.
He has now resubmitted the application and says he hopes to build at land east of Crossways Bungalow.
Mr Hatch wrote a letter to Cornwall Council stating that as the fourth generation of his family to farm in the area, he would never have believed he would be subjected to such a torrent of personal abuse for wanting to build high-welfare poultry units to produce food for the UK market.
"If the disgraceful websites full of insinuations and veiled threats were not enough, I had to endure a vile poster campaign carried out under the cover of darkness by faceless cowards," he wrote.
"It was the sinister events that threatened the safety of my family that made me withdraw my application.
"Never have I believed that my application was flawed, but I hoped that the disgusting behaviour of a small minority would stop if I withdrew my application because I was genuinely concerned for my wife and daughter's safety.
"My daughter is less than one year old. These people should be utterly ashamed of themselves."
Mr Hatch said locals had contacted him offering support and urging him not to give up, and he had resubmitted his plans.
The application has provoked 61 representations to Cornwall Council.
Gerard L'Arbalestier wrote to say children aged 5 to 10 walked to school along the road and the development would have a huge visual impact on an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
David West said: "I might be wrong, but I am of the opinion that there are no legitimate reasons why this application should be refused.
"We are living in a predominately farming parish and by implication all parishioners must have accepted the current levels of noise, smell and traffic – and might I be brutally honest –-which can be most unpleasant at times."
The Cornish Guardian received an anonymous e-mail from opponents labelling the development a "death factory" and advertising a website at www.no2stokeclimslandpoultryunit.wordpress.com. No one from the site took up the Cornish Guardian's offer to discuss the development via phone.
KB Products' phone line is no longer accepting incoming calls.