Tree changers' pursuit of a quieter life is causing conflict in Cabonne, according to a University of Newcastle study.
Cabonne property owners reported fighting with their hobby farming neighbours over pest and weed management, as well as noise, smell and sight pollution.
Head of the research, Dr Hedda Askland, said an influx of new rural residents often with limited experience of agriculture has changed the makeup of the region.
"The romantic idea of the move to a rural area is often in-congruent to the sometimes harsh reality of farming," she said.
"New landowners may not be fully aware of the importance of managing invasive species or they may leave their land for long periods, which can have an impact on neighbouring properties and cause conflict."
Researchers gathered insights from more than 200 landowners in Cabonne and Tweed shires, to gain a better understanding of rural land use practices.
Of the 190 people surveyed 46 per cent reported having had a problem with their neighbours in the last three years.
Half of those surveyed identified the fact that the neighbour were using the property for residential purposes rather than farming as a source of discontent.
More than 60 per cent said the dispute with the neighbours was ongoing.
"The rising cost of land influenced by those seeking a lifestyle change and the need to support on-farm incomes with other off-farm work or investments are also concerning our farmers," Dr Askland said.
"At times deterring the next generation from wanting to carry on the caretaking or locking them out of the market."
Dr Askland said Cabonne farmers had fared better than their Tweed Shire counterparts from a state government concession offered to farmers to build a second dwelling on their property.
Dr Askland said the initiative was axed in 2008 after a report found property owners had misused the concession and created unplanned residential developments in what had been farming land.
The Cabonne farmers were reportedly more optimistic about their prospects for succession farming because they'd held on to these second dwellings.
The UON study was funded by the Department of Primary Industries with the aim of improving resources available to people seeking assistance.
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