Residents opposed to a ‘huge’ polytunnel, built on fields overlooking Argal reservoir without planning permission, say they have no confidence in Cornwall Council getting it removed.

People from Treverva near Penryn attended a residents' meeting in the village hall last week chaired by ward councillor David Saunby and Budock parish councillor Philip Burnett to vent their feelings about the polytunnel and length of time it was taking to do anything about it.

They are concerned that no action is being taken to remove the “industrial size” structure, which they say ruins the view of Argal Reservoir and is built in a green buffer zone opposite Argal View without planning permission. One resident described it as being “an eyesore from every direction”.

South West Farmer: Residents say the polytunnel ruins the view of Argal ReservoirResidents say the polytunnel ruins the view of Argal Reservoir (Image: Supplied)

Concerns were also raised that the entrance and exit to the site was dangerous, coming out onto a 40mph road.

“We are fed up with it and we want something done” one resident told the meeting. “We feel like we are banging our heads against a brick wall.”

In an informal vote, people attending the meeting unanimously said they had no confidence in Cornwall Council's enforcement department taking any action to get the polytunnel removed.

Cllr Saunby told the meeting that he’d been told an application for retrospective planning permission was going to be being made but as of yet no application had been received.

“This is not a B&Q mini tunnel hidden behind a hedge that one puts in their back garden to grow a few vegetables and flowers,” Cllr Saunby said, “but a huge industrial size poly tunnel approximately 25 yards long, with the owner having no communication with the residents in the village of what their plans were and blotting out the iconic view of Argal Lake from the road side, which sits within the green buffer zone in the Budock Neighbourhood Plan.”

South West Farmer: Residents say the polytunnel ruins the view of the reservoirResidents say the polytunnel ruins the view of the reservoir (Image: Supplied)

The fields belong to Andrew Marston - whose company Robotmother runs Jubilee Wharf and Jubilee Warehouse in Penryn - and his partner.

He told the Packet that as owners they had not been directly approached by anyone about the agricultural activities in their fields.

He said the aim of the site, known as Viva Treverva, was to help tackle the climate crisis by planting native trees and plants and growing flowers and vegetables.

“We are always happy to meet and talk about issues people may have,” he said.

“A meeting was held, without any communication with us, and with no attempt at dialogue or constructive engagement - we can only respond when approached.

“As far as we are aware Cornwall Council has acted in accordance with its planning framework at all times. The activities in our fields on the outskirts of Treverva are agricultural and ecological - in accordance with the designated use.

“We are living in an unprecedented time of existential environmental threat to human life. One positive response is to manage marginal agricultural land for biodiversity gain and maximum ecological benefit.

“To combine this with commercial agricultural products benefits society as well as the individuals involved. This is what we are doing at Viva Treverva - unfortunately it is not the same as what was happening there before and this has proved unpopular with some residents.”

Cornwall Council issued a short statement to the Packet saying: “The Council’s Planning Enforcement team is currently investigating this matter and its enquiries are ongoing at this time.”