The festive spirit hasn’t found its way into every corner of the country yet as one Oxfordshire farm discovered this week when they were asked to take down their home-made Christmas tree.
Imogen Stanley, from Rectory Farm, on the edge of Stanton St John was shocked when she heard that a village resident had complained at a parish council meeting that the farm’s tree was a violation of green belt planning permission rules.
The farm’s staff had made the decorated tree using recycled tyres and decorated it with fairy lights before putting it on show at the end of the farm lane last Saturday (16 December).
However, feathers were rapidly ruffled about the artificial tree and its lighting, leading to a complaint being raised on Monday evening at a Stanton St John parish council meeting.
Rectory Farm, a predominantly arable 400ha farm with pick-your-own fruit and vegetables and a farm shop, also received a request to remove the colourful festive lights from around their farm sign.
When it became clear that support wasn’t going to sprout from the other wise men (and women) present, the complainant also wrote a letter to South Oxfordshire District Council’s planning department.
“We have had a lot of support from the village and the local schoolchildren have really enjoyed it in the past few days,” said Imogen.
She explained that as it is not a permanent structure she was confident that the tree is not breaking any rules providing it is taken down within 28 days of going up.