Villagers fight farm bid to host corporate events
PUBLISHED: 14:58 11 April 2006 | UPDATED: 09:58 06 May 2010
RESIDENTS in a small hamlet are set to make it a summer of discontent for a local businessman. They are furious with landowner Brian Bachelor who intends to turn a paddock at his farm into an area for corporate events. Now there is fierce opposition in Be
RESIDENTS in a small hamlet are set to make it a summer of discontent for a local businessman.
They are furious with landowner Brian Bachelor who intends to turn a paddock at his farm into an area for corporate events.
Now there is fierce opposition in Bendish to the plan - revealed in the Comet two weeks ago - among residents who are also angry with North Herts District Council for giving Mr Bachelor of Green Farm a licence for events at his farm.
The farm lies in the centre of Bendish and residents say it will disturb their peace and the council should have rejected the licence.
Now signs against Mr Bachelor's business plan are mushrooming up all around Bendish and even along the road to nearby Whitwell reflecting the local feeling and bitterness.
Speaking on behalf of the campaigners, Linda Anderson said there is 100 per cent opposition from residents in the hamlet.
"We are not going to sit back and be dictated to and have our lives changed," said Mrs Anderson.
"At the moment we feel we are being trodden down by this man and the council and we are not going to let it happen. We are going to fight to preserve our peace and the determination to overturn this licence is reflected in the number of protest placards going up around Bendish and even in Whitwell.
"We know Mr Bachelor has done nothing wrong and is working within the law but the law is an ass and he is taking advantage of it.
"His property is an island in the heart of Bendish and nobody wants to listen to loud music at these events destroying the tranquility of a summer's evening. The lanes around here are too small for the traffic generated by 100 people attending an event anyway.
"It is the new drinking laws that are the problem. Nobody knows how to deal with them, leaving innocent people exposed to events where people can drink around the clock.
"But there is no doubt we feel let down by the council who didn't listen to our argument.
"We have an appeal fund that is growing all the time and we are going to try and overturn this licence and bring peace to the village before it is destroyed."
Mrs Anderson added: "We didn't knock at his door to protest but wrote to the licensing body and then turned up at the licensing hearing. Thirty-three residents were there to show the strength of our feelings in the community.
"Now we feel we are forced to put up signs to promote our feelings visibly. We have no problems with the Bachelors, just their business venture. Did he really think we wouldn't object? I can't understand how someone can live in the middle of the hamlet, upset absolutely everyone and then continue to live there. He has no thoughts for anyone but himself."
But Mr Bachelor angrily hit back saying: "I cannot say too much. It is now a matter for the police.
"The police have been informed of what is going on and the notices going up and the anti social behaviour order department at the council has been told as well.
"If people around here wish to appeal against the licence given to me by North Herts District Council they have every right to. We live in a democratic society and they have their rights.
"The police are taking a very keen interest in what is going on here but the whole thing has been fuelled out of all proportion and in some cases well outside of the law.