A petition against the possibility of Cornwall Council taking a Mabe farmer's land when he does not wish to sell has raised more than 2,500 signatures in just two days.

Mabe resident Kevin Wilkes set up the online campaign on Sunday to support local landowner John Tozer, who is currently concerned at a potential compulsory purchase order being made so his fields can be used to expand the Penryn Campus.

After seeing an article in last week's Packet, Mr Wilkes went online to look for a petition to support Mr Tozer, and after asking around and finding nothing, decided to set one up himself.

He said: "This is a specific incident of the council overstepping the mark. His ownership of the land pre-dates the university, his family have been there a long time.

"The council are using relatively draconian measures, and are not listening to my opinion or the opinions of many people in this area.

"They are focused on expansion at any cost."

His sentiments were reflected by the petition's supporters, including Helen Bell, who wrote: "We cannot allow a business, because let us not forget that that is essentially what the universities are, dictate and destroy not only beautiful green fields but existing businesses and homes...

"Enough is enough now, as a community we cannot let this farm grab happen."

Samantha Gilbert added: "Where it is possible to use 'brown' sites rather than 'green' for building, this should always be done. The horses living on the farm deserve to keep their home."

And Dot Averiss said: "Why should a man that was born on this land be made to give it up Mr Tozer has a business to run. If the council have the money to buy land why don't they use it for local people."

Mr Wilkes said he is happy with the number of signatures the petition has already received, although he is uncertain how much of a difference it will make with Cornwall Council.

He does not have a target number of signatories before he sends the documents to the council and Exeter University, but said: "I would like as many people as possible who share my opinions to put their names on it, to let the council know what the people want. I think it's important that we do say something."

To view and sign the petition, go to change.org/p/prevent-compulsory-purchase-of-land-at-treliever