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Residents reject Green Man plans for Government-owned farm

“Madness” to use taxpayers’ cash to impose scheme, says community group

Residents of Talybont-on-Usk have overwhelmingly 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 the vast majority of residents oppose the Green Man’s plans for the farm, according to the independent 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 results show widespread opposition to the plans:

  • Asked whether Gilestone Farm is a suitable location for the Green Man’s scheme, 77% of residents responded ‘No’.
  • A massive 81% said they were against plans for ‘regular large events involving large numbers of people staying on site’.
  • 67% of residents said they were not ‘generally positive’ about plans for commercial developments such as a brewery, bakery and baking school at the farm.
  • Only 11% of local people say they have been given enough information about the scheme, with 89% believing they haven’t been told enough about the plans.

While the community survey gave the Green Man’s plans a big thumbs down, there is strong support for the land being used for farming instead. The vast majority of residents say they want to see ‘sustainable and regenerative’ farming practices at Gilestone Farm, with 82% of survey respondents supporting the idea.

However, at a recent community meeting, the group heard from the Powys’s County Mammal recorder who cautioned against splitting the farm into lots of small farming enterprises, which he said would be far more disruptive to the wildlife and its habitat.

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.”