Flagg villagers say farmer ‘ploughing ahead’ with unsanctioned development
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Villagers say work has already begun on several cow sheds at Dale Head Farm after details emerged online of a new business centre at the site.
One concerned local, who did not want to be named, said JCB groundbreakers and cement lorries had been seen ‘coming and going’ to the site ‘seven days a week’.
They said pens had been removed at four of the old dairy farm’s cow sheds, their floors had been resurfaced with concrete and four shipping containers had been placed at the site.
News of the plans first emerged via a Facebook page created by Derbyshire Business Centre.
It is understood plans for the site include storage for various customers including fairground equipment, vintage cars, animal feed and caravans and a joinery business.
However worried residents in the tiny village say owners of the farm have not yet submitted a planning application for their new business venture.
A spokesman for the villagers said May: “It’s a very quiet village but if people are storing things there and working there all the vehicles are going to be going down a single track and back lanes.
“This is not really a city environment where industry takes place - it just feels a bit like they’re ploughing ahead with all this.”
Up until December the site had been a dairy-producing farm - however owner Sandra Lomas said her family had decided to give up farming in favour of a more profitable project.
Sandra, 75, told how the farm had been ‘devastated’ by a tuberculosis (TB) infection - losing nearly 250 cattle and could no longer carry on with farming.
She said: “If it wasn’t for the TB we would have carried on milking cows - but it’s just been a nightmare.
“You end up getting into more and more debt to try and help yourself out but it gets to the point where you just can’t carry on.”
A spokesman for owners Rob and Sandra Lomas described villagers’ traffic concerns as ‘laughable’.
He said: “There will probably be about three to four cars in and out a day.
“When this was a working farm we had milk lorries in and out all the time on the back roads.
“All of the houses in Flagg are farms and they all have huge lorries going to and from their farms.
“If they’re now saying the roads are not suitable for lorries that’s absolute rubbish.
“When this was a working farm we had six trailers coming and going every day - but now someone wants to do a bit of joinery that’s out of the question.”
A spokesman for the Peak District National Park Authority said: “We are aware of the activity at this site and following recent changes to Covid-19 restrictions a planning officer will meet with both the owner and agent on site next week ( the week beginning June 29).
“We have already been in contact with both the agent and owner”.
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