Moans force farmer to end charity help

PUBLISHED: 06:46 25 May 2006 | UPDATED: 09:20 24 May 2010

A FARMER has stopped providing parking for events at Frankie Howerd's former home after receiving complaints from residents. Villagers living in the picturesque Compton Bishop parish say they endured noise and traffic problems from visitors to Wavering Do

A FARMER has stopped providing parking for events at Frankie Howerd's former home after receiving complaints from residents.Villagers living in the picturesque Compton Bishop parish say they endured noise and traffic problems from visitors to Wavering Down House in Cross.Dennis Heymer and Chris O'Byrne have staged numerous open house and garden parties at the house, raising thousands of pounds for charities.But a stream of complaints were received by landowner Steve Vincent, of Hillside, Axbridge, who has now pulled out of an arrangement to provide visitor car parking spaces on his Newtown field.In a letter to the Somerset Mercury, Mr Vincent said: "My brother and I decided to allow use of the field as our donation to the charities being helped."I had telephone complaints on the first day of use from local residents. I can understand the nature of their complaints, as one gentleman said he didn't move to the country to look out on a "sea of cars". "I can also understand that car doors slamming at the couple of evening events would be disturbing. "If I'm honest I probably wouldn't like it much either. But I think about the events I go to which all have an effect on the local residents, but I enjoy the events and I prefer to park safely in an organised area when I attend."I visited the field in the middle of the afternoon and found cars parked in tidy rows, a couple walking toward the venue and an elegantly dressed lady strolling back, hardly the 'circus' reported by one complainant. "The field is close to the house and an ideal location for parking off the road. Marshals were in attendance and I could see nothing wrong."I do have a duty towards my neighbours, however, and due to the complaints I asked Chris to stop using the field. It was a difficult phone call to make. I feel I have let him down and ultimately the charities could be the loser."It saddens me that I can no longer help in Chris' charity work and saddens me to think that a community which was so friendly in my father's and grandfather's times has become so insular. "I have not been contacted by the police so I can only assume that no-one has seen fit to officially report the antisocial behaviour of visitors urinating in the hedge."Chris O'Byrne said there were still two other fields where cars would be able to park during events.

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