Powys residents fighting plans for businesses linked to the Green Man to use Gilestone Farm have called on the festival’s leaders to stop making personal attacks on campaigners and deal with the issues instead.

It comes after a spokesperson for the Green Man’s Gilestone Farm project described one of those opposing the scheme as a “wealthy absentee landlord” with a “conflict of interest”.

The Stop Gilestone Farm Project group is urging the Green Man to drop personal attacks and debate the issues in a more serious and respectful way.

Talybont-on-Usk resident Gareth Davies said: “There are serious concerns right across the community about this scheme and the damage we believe it will do to biodiversity and the lives of people who live here. This is not about absentee landlords. I’ve lived in this village for more than 50 years. We are asking the Green Man to refrain from unjustified personal attacks. We want to talk about the issues – why don’t they?

“Our community cannot sustain thousands more visitors, significant increases in traffic, pollution and large public events. Let’s not forget it is taxpayers’ money which is being used to pay for all this – and local people have got every right to express their very serious concerns about these proposals.”

A spokesperson for Gilestone Farm has called the campaign 'vicious' in nature, citing resignations within the council due to 'aggressive tactics'. In May of this year, Liberal Democrat councillor Anita Cartwright, who represents Talybont on Powys County Council, was granted a leave of absence. Taking to Twitter in March, she said she had become a 'victim of attempts to undermine democracy', and that she was 'not the only one to have fallen foul of bullying and aggressive behaviour with many residents reporting harassment.'

A spokesperson for Gilestone Farm went on to say, “The vicious nature of the campaign against the Gilestone Farm Project is very much a major issue that residents in Talybont are absolutely appalled at. 

 "Talybont-on-Usk Community Council has been decimated with resignations because of the aggressive tactics of this campaign while Talybont County Councillor Anita Cartwright has bravely spoken out about the 'constant barrage of threats and aggressive criticism, designed to undermine and discourage.' 

 "The Chief Executive of Bannau Brycheiniog National Park, Catherine Mealing-Jones, felt unable to attend a meeting on the issue as she feared for her safety while dozens of residents have contacted us about being too intimidated to speak out in favour of the project. We have also witnessed first-hand the most disgusting misogynistic smear campaign aimed at Green Man owner Fiona Stewart in an attempt to destroy her business.

 “Despite this, we will continue to push forward with our positive vision for young people in the area, providing jobs, opportunities and a brighter future.

 “Anyone with a genuine concern over the Gilestone Farm Project can visit our FAQs page at gilestonefarmproject.co.uk and contact us. We are always open to a sensible discussion but so far the campaign against it has offered absolutely nothing but misinformation and a determination to destroy the community it claims it represents.”

The Stop Gilestone Farm Project Group is holding a public meeting at 6.30 pm on Monday, August 14 at Henderson Hall in Talybont-on-Usk, and a Walk For Our Wild Side event at 10.30 am on Saturday, August 19.