DELIGHTED villagers, who applauded Cornwall Council's planners last week after they had rejected a controversial £2.3 million scheme for three large poultry houses at Stoke Climsland, are now considering buying the land in question themselves.
Two days after the east sub-area planning committee at Camelford on Wednesday turned down plans by Jamie Hatch, of KB Products of Kelly Bray, for permission to build three poultry houses on land to the east of Crossways Bungalow, residents received a letter from the owner of the land Kevin Oliver.
Mr Oliver informed them that following the refusal the land was now on the open market.
Resident Tony Tudor, whose wife Sue is a parish councillor, told the Cornish Guardian that they were investigating what funding, including grants, was available.
"A group of local people are looking at buying the land to be used as a Cornish orchard, allotments and a play area," said Mr Tudor.
Members of the committee voted 9 to 1 to refuse the application, despite a recommendation from planning officers that conditional approval should be granted.
Refusal was proposed on the grounds that the plans breached the County Structure Plan because it would bring about a change of landscape without benefiting the local economy and it would fail to protect the area's natural beauty and historic environment.
Councillor Andrew Long said: "We are not criticising the industry, it is the position of the units at that point" while Sasha Gillard Loft said: "The roads are not fit for purpose, and no news jobs will be created."
There had been 1,150 letters and e-mails registering objection, with 44 in support, and ward member Neil Burden told the meeting he had never received so many letters against an application.
Mr Burden said he was "gobsmacked" at the proposed route to the development, which was along roads where they had worked hard to stop transport travelling to and from Duchy College.
Resident Simon Jones said the units would see around a million birds a year passing through.
"This is activity on an industrial scale, not agricultural," he said, adding that the parish council had voted 7 to 1 against the scheme and the police traffic officer had concerns about the safety of pedestrians on the narrow roads leading to the site.
Mr Jones said a million birds a year would produce a huge amount of waste, which would be a problem for future generations.
Parish councillor Sue Tudor said poultry units on the edge of the Stoke Climsland Conservation Area would have an enormous effect on the rural setting and bring disease, pests and pollution.
There would be no jobs for people in Stoke Climsland as the units could be serviced by those already working at Kelly Bray.
However, chartered town planner Peter Whitehead, the agent for the applicant, said the diversification of the existing business would create three jobs at the site and 32 jobs associated with it.
"It is a prime example of sustained economic growth," said Mr Whitehead, adding that the number of vehicle movements would be an average of 2.6 a day.
He said the planning officer and Highways' officer supported the application.
Councillor Jim Flashman said the existing units were in his ward and although they were close to houses there were few complaints.
He said: "I am surprised that you are not supporting someone who is prepared to invest £2.3 million in the area."