Council tells '˜salvage yard' farm to tidy up

Harborough District Council has ordered an unsightly local farm to tidy up or risk prosecution.

Sunday, 27th November 2016, 5:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 6th December 2016, 11:50 am
The site present day. NNL-161115-215137005

Local residents say Keythorpe Valley Farm, off Crackbottle Road, between Hallaton and Tugby, has been an eyesore for years.

But as the lorry backs, portable cabins, feeders, pig arcs and numerous pieces of equipment, machinery and building materials stack up at the farm, the council has so far failed to stop the farm’s development into a “salvage yard” appearance.

Last month, however, the council issued an Enforcement Notice to the farm’s owners and occupiers the Szymborski family - Tad, Izabella and Adam - and Miss S Spearey.

Before....2000. NNL-161115-215125005

The council notice says the farm now appears to be being used as a salvage yard, “which is intrusive within what is otherwise an attractive rural landscape”.

The council order to tidy the land takes effect from December 1, unless the farm owners appeal.

The owners then have two months - until February 1, 2017 - to remove all the salvage yard and storage clutter from their fields.

Failure to comply with the notice could result in prosecution and/or remedial action by the district council.

Concerned residents...Mark Frith, Alistair Brook and Peter Crewe. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER NNL-161115-215113005

One neighbour, Mark Frith, said: “We just can’t understand how the problem’s been allowed to escalate like this. It’s been going on for years.

“Council officials don’t seem to have any ability to restrict this mess so far or stop it from growin.

“We don’t begrudge him living there or having a business there, but - well, just look at it - it needs drastically tidying up.”

One inspector at an earlier appeal - which the Szymborski family won - said: “I have considerable sympathy with local residents.

The site present day. NNL-161115-215150005

“I understand their frustration that until recently the council has taken little action to address ... unathorised uses at the site.”

Both Hallaton, and Tugby and Keythorpe Parish Councils have complained about the site.

Rutland and Melton MP Sir Alan Duncan wrote to Harborough District Council in March 2015, accusing the council of a “quite disgraceful failure to resolve the long-running problem”.

The Mail was unable to contact the farm’s owners at the time of going to press.

The site present day. NNL-161115-215150005
The site present day. NNL-161115-215202005
Bags of animal offal left at site. NNL-161115-215214005
Pig sheds stored on land. NNL-161115-214844005
Before....2000. NNL-161115-215125005
Concerned residents...Mark Frith, Alistair Brook and Peter Crewe. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER NNL-161115-215113005
The site present day. NNL-161115-215150005
The site present day. NNL-161115-215150005
The site present day. NNL-161115-215202005
Bags of animal offal left at site. NNL-161115-215214005
Pig sheds stored on land. NNL-161115-214844005