Residents of Talybont-on-Usk have voted against plans for Gilestone Farm to be used to expand the Green Man’s activities in a survey by the community council.
The Welsh government bought the Powys farm for £4.25 million last year with a view to leasing it to the Green Man organisation.
But some residents oppose the Green Man’s plans for the farm, according to the survey by Talybont-on-Usk Community Council.
The Stop Gilestone Farm Project group says the results mean the Welsh government should now scrap the proposals and listen to local people.
The survey showed opposition to the plans with 77 per cent surveyed saying Gilestone wasn’t a suitable location for the Green Man, 81% saying they were against plans for ‘regular large events involving large numbers' and 67% of residents saying they were not ‘generally positive’ about plans for commercial developments at the farm.
There is however strong support for the land being used for farming.
Local resident Tim Baxter, a member of the Stop Gilestone Farm Project says: “This is strong, objective evidence that the local community does not want this Green Man scheme, and the government must think again.
“If they go ahead after these survey results, they will be using taxpayers’ money to impose a project on a rural community which doesn’t want it. That is madness.
“This scheme is a threat to rare wildlife at the farm, and the extra traffic associated with it will cause dreadful congestion and pollution on country roads which already struggle to cope.
“The community should have been asked before the government bought Gilestone Fam. Now we’ve made our views known loud and clear. It’s time to stop the Green Man’s Gilestone Farm project and listen to us properly.”
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Gilestone Farm Project said that the Talybont-on-Usk community council have admitted that local residents have complained about a bias against the project.
They said: “While we welcome efforts to consult the local community, we are concerned that those that drafted the community council’s survey had no intention of fully gauging the breadth of local opinion on Gilestone Farm.
“The council has admitted that a number of local residents have complained about bias and the misleading nature of the survey. The community council itself has been beset by problems including mass resignations and allegations of bullying, and is now in the control of those actively campaigning against the project. “The spin on the survey results is also clearly misleading. Nearly 60% of the Talybont community did not participate in the survey, so claims that the community has overwhelmingly rejected the plans are false. “We have been receiving many messages of support from local residents and businesses who while supportive of the project are reluctant to go public because of the intimidatory nature of the opposition campaign. Local people can continue to contact us at [email protected]"