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Statutory nuisance - farm

(7 Posts)
Viewofhedges Mon 20-Feb-17 15:21:01

I live next to a barn. When we moved in, the barn was rarely used. Now, the (elderly) farmer has rented it out to a new one who has had the barn filled with cows, about 30 of them, 24/7 for the past 2 years. He does not put the cows out in the summer. If he did, that would be fine, but they are there, the poor things, all year round.

The result of which is that we are woken regularly, get mooing for hours and hours and hours and loud 'clonking' (cows kicking boards when they eat) all the time in the garden. In the summer we can't open our windows for the smell/ noise and they have a hay chomping machine which they often have on all day which covers our car / any washing / whatever in hay dust. People walk past our place saying 'god I couldn't live there' and if we want a quiet weekend - well we have to go out. I also used to work from home and now have to rent an office in town just to get away. As a result I've not been in the garden that I love for 2 years as it's really affected my mental health. I've been diagnosed with anxiety since those bloody cows arrived.

We have tried to talk to the farmer about the noise but he shrugs.
The environmental health people laughed at us and said it's a farm, deal with it. The CAB said it's morally outrageous but couldn't offer any more advice.

I am a country girl (this is not a towny expecting the countryside to be quiet and could deal with winter cows) but I can't believe that keeping livestock so close to a house (it's about 5m away) that they can't 'enjoy the right to quiet enjoyment of their property' at ANY time of the year is not allowed? How far suckitupbuttercup should we be?

We're looking to move because of this - if we can find a buyer, and I expect we'll have to push the price way down - but we LOVE our house and garden and I'm furious that we're being pushed out like this. Is there anything we can do? I'm also really nervous about starting anything 'official' as we have anecdotal evidence that the farmer, if riled, is a bastard. He likes to drive tractors into people's cars who have annoyed him, that sort of thing....

wowfudge Tue 21-Feb-17 00:32:29

I think your only recourse is to the guy renting the barn and asking him if the cows can go out in summer. You can't move in next to a farm and expect a quiet life.

EyeStye Thu 23-Feb-17 11:09:26

Have you checked that he has planning permission to keep livestock in the barn?
It's worth speaking to local planning dept

prh47bridge Thu 23-Feb-17 11:33:21

Have you checked that he has planning permission to keep livestock in the barn

I don't think planning permission is needed for that. Planning permission is not required for a farmer to use buildings that are already on their land for farming purposes.

EyeStye Thu 23-Feb-17 11:49:49

I'm interested to know which came first the house or the barn? Could the barn have had a condition that it not be used for livestock if so close to a house?
If the house first why on earth is the planning dept granted permission for a house 5m from a barn in which livestock could be kept

Filiboom Fri 24-Feb-17 12:20:19

I'm not a planning lawyer (but am a lawyer) so take this with a big pinch of salt, but if the barn was rarely used, is there a chance that any previous planning permission might have lapsed? And agree you should try to see the planning permission.

Separately, has someone from the environmental health department been round? Even if you should expect some noise and smells from living near a farm, depending on levels, it could still be deemed a nuisance and an abatement order served.

Good luck - it does sound miserable.

CaroleService Sun 26-Feb-17 19:22:27

If the cows never go out, surely the RSPCA ought to know?

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