A former Menzieshill resident who bought a farm in Angus has claimed he is being “driven off the land” by local residents and council officers.
Stephen Mellor, the laird of Gagiewell Estate, Kellas, purchased the estate in 2013, where he now breeds rare pigs and chickens.
But he says he has faced “continued persecution” in his attempts to develop the land, and has now accepted a six- figure sum for the farm from the travelling community.
Mr Mellor said: “This land was disused prior to us coming here and we undertook a massive operation trying to turn it around.
“We’ve encountered continued persecution, including reports to Scottish SPCA about emaciated pigs, and issues with the number of vehicles accessing a road into the land.
“We had Scottish Water looking to investigate if we were accessing public water to use on the site.
“It’s essentially got to the point that we’ve been driven off the land.
“We’ve accepted a lucrative offer that could potentially see caravans moving on to the site.”
Angus Council issued an enforcement notice in January last year to Mr Mellor. Complaints about an unauthorised fence being put up and the storage of items including building materials, machinery, boats and a caravan had been flagged up to the local authority.
Planning officials had previously told Angus councillors in November that Mr Mellor was then in “wilful breach of the notice” after failing to remove materials from the site.
Mr Mellor said: “Maybe naively I did attach a fence to a listed wall but I made good of my mistake.
“I had to get rid of a trailer and a speed boat that were sitting on the land. Despite other local residents having blocks and slates stored at their premises, I had to remove mine.”
Previously the land had been an aqueduct system supplying water to Dundee.
The three filter beds, an ashlar gate pier, wall and a further pier, together with the walls and a narrow gauge railway, were all category B-listed in 1991.
Local residents who declined to be named said that there had been “ongoing issues” with Mr Mellor’s ownership of the premises “from the get-go”.
One said there were “concerns” over the prospect of the land being developed into a caravan site.
Angus Council have not responded to a request for comment.