Car salesman allowed to sell vehicles from farm despite objections

A second-hand car dealer has secured permission to operate his business from a Fife farm despite opposition from those living yards away.

Friday, 25th June 2021, 3:12 pm
Updated Friday, 25th June 2021, 4:20 pm
There were objections to the business operating from the farm.
There were objections to the business operating from the farm.

Colin Gordon, a car salesman for 30 years, took over much of Tailabout Farm east of Cupar at the start of the year.

However, Ursula Webster and Annaline Barr, who live on privately owned land beside the farm, objected to his application to relocate his second-hand businesses from Kame Smiddy.

The mother-daughter pair claimed that the single-track road leading into Tailabout has seen 60-80 cars a day since Gordon acquird the farm – an assertion he said was a “blatant lie”.

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Both parties laid out their arguments before Fife Council’s regulation and licensing committee this week [Tuesday June 22].

Barr and Webster said they had been given no warning of the second-hand activity and were concerned that their only means of access to and from their house would become clogged with traffic. They also partly own the access road under an agreement with the farm.

Ms Barr said: “It’s a long farm track, it’s difficult to navigate, and selling second-hand cars will increase the traffic substantially.

“There seems to be 60-80 cars up there every day – we’ve counted. Our concern is the road isn’t able to cope with that.”

Gordon retorted: “Apart from feeling completely unwanted and whatever else I can say about this, I’ll be 60 next year. I’ve probably got another five years in this.

“I’ve been a responsible business owner for 31 years, I’ve never had any bother with Trading Standards, and for a second-hand car dealer that’s a pretty good record.”

Gordon, who once also traded from Cults Farm, had his knuckles rapped earlier this year after social media posts on his business page suggested he may have been trading from Tailabout before securing his licence.

He and Mrs Webster’s husband also had a heated argument over the maintenance of trees lining the farm track which, according to Gordon, was settled with a “gentleman’s agreement”.

However, the trader was given support from the previous owner of the farm, Tracy Miller, who said she was “absolutely astounded” at the resistance to the second-hand dealer’s plans.

“I can’t believe the animosity and angst that this has caused,” she said.

“Mr Gordon has had his business for a long time and all he is doing is moving it from one place to the next.”

Craig Ritchie, a Fife Council licensing enforcement officer, said the single track road was perfectly useable for cars. But he noted: “I wouldn’t like to meet any vehicle coming the other way.”

Councillors ultimately moved to approve the licence after concluding that the road could safely accomodate visitors to and from Gordon’s dealership.

Howe of Fife and Tay Coast SNP member David MacDiarmid, addressing the objectors, said: “I can’t see what the problem is. I know Mr Gordon has been a good trader for all these years and I really don’t see the issue.

“Is it just the fact you don’t want anyone else up here?”

Licensing vice-convener Cllr Ryan Smart, who moved approval of Gordon’s licence, quipped: “It seems there needs to be marriage counselling for this site.”