Plans to erect a new shed at Kenleygreen Farm in Boarhills appear to have caused a split between the farming community and some local residents.
F W Roger & Co Ltd wants the building for its agricultural engineering and repairs business, which has outgrown its current base.
But some residents in Station Road are unhappy about the close proximity of the business to their homes, and are upset at what they see as “personal attacks” from some of its supporters.
The majority of representations made to Fife Council support the plans.
While most supporters concentrate on planning issues, some have added comments which objectors claim are “offensive, racist, derogatory, and make inappropriate assumptions”.
References to objectors being “non-indigenous” and “nimbys”, and statements such as “our villages are becoming increasingly dominated by commuters” and “it’s a pity the objector ... doesn’t take more time to learn about rural matters” have upset some in Boarhills.
One of the objectors told the Citizen: “Naturally those who live on the street are against the application but many local farmers support it.
“However, several commentators have added personal comments that are offensive, racist, derogatory, and make inappropriate assumptions. This goes against Fife Council’s policy on discrimination. None of these comments are directly related to the planning application and can be seen as bullying.”
Fife Council’s planning department said all comments on applications must include the name and address of the the person making the representation and that the Council reserved the right to remove any defamatory information.
A Council spokesman said: “Case officers are responsible for ensuring comments are vetted and any defamatory information removed.”
The community council has objected to the application, citing reasons including an increase in traffic on the A917 and nuisance to neighbours.
But it has attracted considerable support, with many describing the business as essential to the farming community, and stating that as access will be directly off the A917, it will mean traffic won’t have to go into the village.
The agricultural engineering business has operated for 14 years from an existing farm steading without attracting any complaints. However, the applicant has stated that the existing building is no longer fit for purpose as it does not allow access for larger modern day machinery which means the repairs are having to be done outside.