CLAIMS the diversification of an Alexandria farm has resulted in anti-social behaviour, public urination and traffic chaos didn’t sway the council from allowing the work to continue.

West Dunbartonshire Council’s planning committee agreed to grant the application of David Muirhead, who owns Muirhead Dairy at Overton Farm, permission to house two other businesses despite concerns from neighbours.

Mr Muirhead hadn’t received planning permission for the building, which was erected in 2012, claiming he didn’t know consent was required but this was only discovered when he applied for permission to house MacKinnon Fencing and Howie Garage.

James MacKinnon, who owns the nearby Cloudside B&B on Overton Road, and is not affiliated with the fencing firm, hit out at the farm when he addressed councillors during the committee meeting on Wednesday, August 2.

He said: “We don’t object to the farm outbuildings providing it’s used for agricultural work but we do object to industrial use.

“We don’t think the building was ever intended for agricultural use.

“As a resident of 15 years, we have been subjected to threats of violence and we believe Overton Farm is the catalyst.”

Mr Muirhead denied the allegations, stating the garage did not take on commercial work instead only carried out additional work for other farms as a way of supplementing their business as it could not survive from work on the farm alone.

Meanwhile the fencing firm, Mr Muirhead claimed, only carried out fabrication work on site and had a larger base where it houses the majority of its 30-strong staff on North Street.

Mr MacKinnon, of the B&B, added: “In 2013 there was a sudden increase in traffic and drivers would often stop and ask for directions for the fencing or garage places and we wondered why they were asking for directions to a dairy farm.

“[In a picture shown to the committee] you can clearly see an individual urinating. This can be clearly seen from Alexandria Cemetery.”

Mr Muirhead responded saying his site did provide toilets and the appropriate welfare facilities for its workers and offered to instate a row of bushes to screen the farm from public eye.

Council officers recommended councillors grant the application despite admitting the proposal went against greenbelt policies. Instead, favouring the farm diversification policy.

However, Baillie Denis Agnew blasted officers for “ignoring” the importance of the greenbelt policy.

He said: “I’m unhappy and uncomfortable with the fact we’re just mentioning the greenbelt issue and ignoring it.”

However, SNP councillor Karen Conaghan said she and fellow councillors were pleased with the state of the farm, following an inspection.

She said: “Having been out to the site and had a look at it, I think those of us who went on the visit were content that it was mostly agricultural work being done.”

The separate applications for planning permission and part change of use where accepted.