It has been a long running campaign of harassment.
Ever since we bought Rowan Farm we have been in the pitchfork firing line.
This time, though, our objectors have cranked up the gears and got seriously tooled up.
They’ve launched a serious legal bid to try to turf us out of Rowan Farm.
For six years Oli and I have been accused of being “engaged in subterfuge”, of being “dishonest”, of being “ignorant”, of being “threatening” and of being like “the Battle of the Somme”.
Our business was accused in the local magazine of being involved in criminal activity.
We are regularly shouted at and surreptitiously photographed.
We regularly have trespassers and endure people lurking in our bushes, staring.
We were harangued aggressively in an ill-informed and pointless fashion at an emergency local parish council meeting.
We have had the enforcement officer called out five times during our build.
One of those times was because we had planted a wildflower meadow.
Every time we get told on though, the Council sign us off for good behaviour.
For six years, we have kept our noses clean.
Done our best not to rise to it.
We decided not to sue for libel after the parish magazine article.
We haven’t shopped our objectors for the numerous planning restrictions they themselves are currently flouting in their own homes.
We haven’t bombed their doorsteps with rotten eggs.
Instead I confess to being embarrassingly middle class.
I grumble privately.
And when really, really pushed, I send the odd strongly worded letter.
We have actually tried to understand where these people are coming from.
But we’ve drawn a blank in the face of their implacable anger.
Now they’re busy trying to evict us.
They’re claiming – anonymously – that the Council should never have given us planning permission and our home is illegal.
Helpfully, they waited until we’d ploughed all our savings and much more into finishing the build.
Fortunately, the Council appear to be wising up to their malice.
The enforcement officer actually apologised to us last month and said she was embarrassed about how much grief we have had from her department.
Nevertheless, we’re now having to find the money to fund more help from our now considerably well oiled lawyer.
It’s a total waste of taxpayer money too.
At jeopardy is our right to live in our home that we have worked tirelessly to finish.
We’re a tad scuppered if the Council legal bods find against us.
But if they do, our objectors are much more so.
If we’re booted out and forced to sell, I doubt our successors would share our positive aims for Rowan Farm.
Seven acres can fit a whole lot of houses.
Not eco ones neither.
Developers tend to be pretty keen on swimming pools, tennis courts, big returns on their investment.
Not many people are as daft about tree conservation as us.
Most see bats, owls and other protected wildlife as inconveniences.
You could kiss goodbye to the newly nesting kestrels, kites, buzzards, tawny owls, barn owls and other wildlife that have moved in since we took charge here.
Would a developer have a Barnardo’s apprenticeship scheme?
Give local school kids free carpentry lessons?
Most people don’t understand the point of spending a silly sum of money on Eco construction options.
They don’t understand why we were so open and forthcoming about what we are trying to do at Rowan Farm.
They’d bite back at their detractors.
And our objectors don’t know how good they got it.