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Can anyone help me with this dispute with the farmer?

(35 Posts)
Enid Tue 16-May-06 09:22:55

dh and I complained to the farmer when he planted maize in the field next to our house at 4am. It made a racket, woke us all up (2 days after dd3 was born) and went on for 2 hours (no way you could sleep through it).

they have written to us saying basically we can lump it as they are 'allowed' to farm at any time of day or night.

its a new farmer and the one before never did this - we don't mind them starting early (6am ish) but 4am is just unbelievably anti social we think. Its a tiny farm and a small field but being run by a consultancy who has a lot of other fields to manage. Dh pointed out that they could have done the fields that werent near houses first and they have rejected that out of hand, basically saying they can do what they like. Its a real shame as we had a great relationship with the tenant farmer before - he rung us when he was going to spray/harvest so we could keep the pets/kids inside.

Can they? How can I word the reply?

Freckle Tue 16-May-06 09:32:52

I think this might come under the same heading as noisy neighbours. Sure, there might not be a law saying they can't work at 4am, but I'm sure environmental health might take a dim view. Why don't you check with them to see if they can help in any way?

tortoiseshell Tue 16-May-06 09:34:35

Definitely don't think this is reasonable - is there a CAB near you? I would have thought that given that there was work they could do away from the houses then it's reasonable to request that they do that first.

Enid Tue 16-May-06 19:46:23

have rung enviro health who say of course farmers dont have any special rights

JanH Tue 16-May-06 19:53:06

Trouble is with people like this that even though you are obviously in the right here, they have lots of ways to make your lives unpleasant, legally, in future if you drop them in it this time.

It might be galling but could you negotiate in a neighbourly way over this incident, with the underlying threat of dropping them in it if they do something unneighbourly again?

Enid Tue 16-May-06 19:54:20

thats the plan

we wouldnt have bothered doing anything but hte shitey letter really p'd us both off

NotQuiteCockney Tue 16-May-06 19:55:37

Is this sort of decision up to the tenant farmer? Or up to the consultancy? Because playing nice works better with individuals, while legal threats are better with a company, I'd think.

Enid Tue 16-May-06 19:57:44

the consultancy

but it is so MAD as the guy who runs the consultancy lives in our village and we have supported them through the crisis they had when their planning was refused

and he hsa two younk kids so you would think he would undesrtand why we complained in the first place!

its all BONKERS

NotQuiteCockney Tue 16-May-06 20:01:21

That is mad. Any chance the bloke you know doesn't know about the problem? Any chance a quiet word would sort it?

Enid Tue 16-May-06 20:02:19

he WROTE and signed the letter!

last time I invite his wife round for coffee

NotQuiteCockney Tue 16-May-06 20:04:21

OMG, that is completely mad.

How did you complain about it in the first place?

Is it possible this is all bluster, and they won't do it again anyway? They might not want to officially say "we are sorry, we won't do it again" for fear you might sue them?

plug Tue 16-May-06 20:05:15

Think I'd invite her round for coffee again pronto and paint large dark circles under your eyes for good measure.

Enid Tue 16-May-06 20:07:34

I think you are right NQC

it is all bluster

but letter was really quite intimidating saying that if we complain again and interrupt their work they may lose a subsidy in which case they will claim the money back from us

dh wants to put in our letter that if they send any more vaguely threatenign letters we will pass them directly to our solicitors

mad how quickly it has escalated

I complained directly to the guy driving the tractor at 4am - went into the field, stopped him and sayd look I have just had a baby can you please go away and do this another time

he said no way tought

dh went into field and asked again - he told dh to fuck off

dh went round to owner of field and woke them up (at 4.30) demanded that they tell guy to stop

NotQuiteCockney Tue 16-May-06 20:09:17

Only fair to wake them, after they woke you!

I would look into your legal recourse, is there a noise abatement person for The Countryside?

I hope it is all bluster, what a nightmare.

Whizzz Tue 16-May-06 20:12:12

Yes - sounds like nuisance noise to me. Doesn't matter if he's a farmer or a chemical works

neighbour noise

look on your council website for how they deal with commercial noise

Nightynight Tue 16-May-06 21:14:48

someone I know is an agricultural contractor, and basically they are working 26 hours a day during their busy seasons, and sitting around at home doing nowt the rest of the time.

Farming is not like other businesses. It is so weather and season dependent that they have to work unsocial hours at particular moments. They always have done, it is not new.

Can see that it is annoying for you, though. The letter you got sounds stupid. And the boss certainly deserved to get woken up at 4.30 if he expected his employees to start at that time.

JanH Tue 16-May-06 21:24:23

They didn't have to do that field at 4am though, Nightynight - that was just pointlessly provocative, even if they did have to trundle a couple of miles to do one that wasn't next to somebody's house.

Round here tractor drivers seem to positively enjoy trundling lots of miles at about 20mph to see how long a queue of cars they can build up behind them

Roo77 Tue 16-May-06 21:37:20

I think tractors can only go 20mph. I don't think they do it on purpose, perhaps people could live in the city if they don't like rural life and then everybody would be happy

JanH Tue 16-May-06 21:41:26

Ooooh no, they can go quite a bit faster than that, Roo!

twocatsonthebed Tue 16-May-06 21:44:09

the people you need to get on side are definitely environmental health- I had problems with a school next door (long, long story) but they were fantastic and really took the problem seriously. Perhaps make an appointment with a case officer, and show them the letter too.

It's also worth doing a tiny bit of research on the laws yourself- if you can outdo them in the shirty letter stakes its always quite helpful...

nannyme Tue 16-May-06 21:54:00

Okay so the farmer may not have any special rights but regardless of the rules or law, it isn't like he is playing loud music or having a party. He is earning a living.

Many (not all) farmers have it very tough and my personal feeling is that if this type of thing bothers you then living next to an arable field may not be the best decision. As somebody else said, there is always the town (to paraphrase)!

Being woken by cows mooing, sheep lambing, tractors (er, tractoring?) is one of the pleasant aspects of living within a rural or farming community in my happy experience.

I agree with the letting you know about crop spraying, etc. but don't see how you can complain about the noise of farming.

Sorry enid, that is just my view - I am sure others will/have disagreed and will/have beeen of more help with your letter writing.

ks Tue 16-May-06 22:07:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

VeniVidiVickiQV Tue 16-May-06 22:14:04

I know that in a built up area you need special permission/licence to carry out work before 7am and after 7pm. I dont know what legislation is in place for rural areas though.

A total PITA in any case.

Mirage Wed 17-May-06 00:03:32

Is this the same farmer who upset you by not cutting his hedge?

soapbox Wed 17-May-06 00:10:32

Sounds like a nightmare Enid. Don't know what to suggest as I suspect tractor in a field nearby wouldn't break the decibels limits (but not sure). If that's the case then environmental health are unlikely to help you.

I'd go down the reciprocal route of walking along to boss man's house every time you are woken at ungodly hours and waking him and his family up very loudly!

In the meantime - maybe sending corres to your solicitor would not be a bad idea!

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