Plans for a Korean kimchi farm on land popular with runners and dog walkers in the Chilterns AONB have been thrown out after they prompted a furious backlash from residents.

Syed Ahmed submitted an application to build a barn to store farming equipment and tools on green belt land in Pednor Road, part of the Pednor Loop, in Chesham.

The initial design and access statement said Mr Ahmed wanted to use the land for growing organic vegetables to supply to supermarkets, with the barn used to store farming equipment.

But an agricultural report submitted later mentioned a Korean Kimchi-producing facility on the freehold land he owns – plot 14.

The proposed building would have been used for the process from start to finish.

But hundreds of objections were submitted to the online plans, with concerns about the transparency of the proposal as well as loss of the countryside for residents who regularly use the path where the development was proposed.

Residents argued a new application should be submitted “giving precise details of the landowner’s actual intentions” and saying the scheme “seems to be an industrial project which has been dressed up as an agricultural one, in the hope of satisfying the conditions for permitted development in the Green Belt”.

Another resident added: “My family and neighbours often walk down the chalk path where the development is proposed.

“I am appalled that an AONB can even be considered for such a proposal to the detriment of our revered countryside, wildlife and community health.”

The plans have, this week, been refused by Buckinghamshire Council, who said it was “apparent that the intended use for the building was not wholly agricultural”.

A spokesman added: “Agricultural buildings can be appropriate in the Green Belt, however on assessing the application, it was apparent that the intended use for the building was not wholly agricultural. It also included space for industrial processing and packing of produce.

“This is not an acceptable use in the Green Belt and hence the planning application was refused permission on three grounds relating to the impact on the Green Belt, the Chilterns AONB landscape and also in relation to highway safety.”

Excerpts from the decision notice read: “The building proposed in this case is only partially required for agriculture and is largely proposed to be used for processing and packing, which is not an agricultural activity. It therefore proposes a mixed agricultural and industrial use.

“In addition, it has not been clearly demonstrated that the agricultural parts of the building are reasonably required for the functioning of an agricultural enterprise and the proposed building is too large, unnecessarily tall and unsuitable for the proposed uses.”

It adds: “The proposed mixed agricultural and industrial building, gravel driveways and fencing, together will any associated paraphernalia necessary for this business would be highly visible in the landscape and would not conserve or enhance the special landscape character of this protected area.

“The applicant's attention is drawn to the fact that a public right of way crosses the plot. It is an offence to block this public right of way.”

See the full decision notice at using reference PL/20/2943/FA.