A CONTROVERSIAL application to set up a rabbit farm in a field on the edge of a creek in an area of outstanding beauty has been refused after massive opposition to the plan was organised.

Nearly 40,000 people from all over the world signed a petition against the proposed siting of a rabbit farm on the banks of Restronguet Creek near Mylor.

The application to Cornwall Council planning department from Phil Kerry of T&S Nurseries also attracted 333 public comments on the county council website, all in opposition.

Mr Kerry had applied to install a mobile home as a temporary worker’s dwelling and barn on land north of Tregunwith Wood, Tregunwith. If that had been granted he had planned to rear rabbits for slaughter there.

Rabbit Farm Resistance UK started the petition opposing the plan saying it believes there is no place in the 21st century for a rabbit farm with the risk of disease, the animals suffering, fears of a return to factory farming and pollution.

"The proposed location is near Tregunwith Wood, an area of outstanding natural beauty that deserves to remain so and not to be blighted with a facility such as this," it said in its submission.

"It will also border the south-western shore of Restronguet Creek, posing a threat to this water source, with no clear explanation in the application outlining how they intend to keep their operation from contaminating it.

"Everything in the application appears to relate to human waste linked to the proposed onsite dwelling, but farming on such a scale will undoubtedly produce a great deal of animal waste, and thus poses a threat to local residents and wildlife."

The rabbit farm would have overlooked the creek

The rabbit farm would have overlooked the creek

In her letter to Mr Kerry's agent refusing the application, Cornwall Council planning officer Louise Wood said the construction of a new temporary workers dwelling in the countryside, detached from any definable settlement containing the necessary facilities required to support day-to-day occupation, would encourage the use of a private motor vehicle and is not considered to be a sustainable development.

She also said new housing development in this location was not supported by Cornwall Local Plan Strategic Policies

"The proposal would incur significant visual harm to the immediate setting and surrounding natural environment from the construction of a dwelling and agricultural building in the open countryside resulting in landscape and visual harm to the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty," she said.

She added: "The location of this site relies on access along a public right of way which includes narrow sections with no passing places. The proposed location of this development would encourage conflict between pedestrians and motorised traffic giving rise to increased danger for all users and creating an unacceptable highway safety impact."

She also said that there was insufficient information to enable the Local Planning Authority to assess the impacts on protected species and does not provide any information in relation to Biodiversity Net Gain.