‘Bullying’ farmer builds 30ft wall of hay outside villagers’ homes following planning dispute

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer
Homeowners in Ockbrook are furious with the giant wall of hay behind their properties (SWNS)

Well-off villagers in Derbyshire have reacted with fury after a local farmer installed stacks of hay over 30ft hight behind their homes.

Thirty tons of hay were piled up on trailers in a field adjacent to the back gardens of several £500,000 detached properties on Cole Road in Ockbrook.

The villagers believe they were put there deliberately after a planning application by farmer Richard Barton to run a waste processing site was rejected.

Villagers believe the hay was put there deliberately after a planning application by farmer Richard Barton was rejected (SWNS)
Peter and Helen Shaw moved into their home in 2004 (SWNS)
Mr Shaw said the bales were stacked behind his house on Cole Road last Thursday (SWNS)

Resident Peter Shaw, 55, said the bales were stacked behind his house last Thursday.

Mr Shaw and his wife Helen, 50, moved into the home in 2004, and say this is the first time they have encountered an issue with Mr Barton.

Mr Shaw, who works in the motoring trade, says the bales are a potential fire risk and is urging Mr Barton, 44, to remove them.


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He said: ‘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.

Andrew and Gillian Dale can see the hay stacked up behind their property (SWNS)
The hay blocks out the view of the fields behind the houses (SWNS)

“It feels as though there is one rule for one person and another rule for others.’

He added: ‘It’s an eye sore – I’m not sure they are even stored correctly…

‘You can see it from the road, you can see it from the footbridge.

‘It’s about ten metres from my home – if they were to fall then they would destroy my garden.’

The farmer has been described as a ‘bully’ for his actions (SWNS)
The giant wall stands at approximately 35ft (SWNS)

Mr Shaw said the farmer has been attempting to create a site to process waste for eight years but the whole village has rejected the proposals.

Another resident on the street said: ‘The view from our back garden used to be open fields but now all you can see is a wall of hay.

‘I’m convinced this is some kind of protest against the village because the farmer didn’t get the planning permission he wanted.

‘It’s a form of intimidation and is just simply being done out of spite.’

How the view looked before the hay was piled up (SWNS)

A Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said: ‘The storing of these types of bales is done safely and responsibly across the whole of the country and as a result.

‘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.’

A man who answered the door at Carr Hill Farm, where the bales have been left, refused to comment.