PLANNING AND DESIGN NEWS: FARM SHOP CONSENTED AT APPEAL IN DEVON
After a significantly challenging journey, the decision to grant consent for a farm shop on rural land in Devon was given by the Planning Inspectorate at appeal.
Ex-Officer in the British Forces turned entrepreneur, Jack Mann, originally came up with the idea after becoming frustrated with lack of an independent, local, seasonal retail offer on the journey down to Devon and Cornwall. A market need was identified for a high quality retail destination principally aimed at the transitory tourist traffic, enabling them to take a break and pick up authentic produce for their travels.
He says ‘the farm shop should be seen as a new platform for a great number local producers to promote their excellent produce.’
After locating a prime site and working with a local landowner, Mr Mann set about realising his idea. He approached Rural Solutions as the natural provider for this, asking for an initial planning appraisal and architectural design. Our advisory team, were also drawn upon to look at evidencing the proposal via a high level market assessment.
The design of the scheme was created to resemble a traditional farm courtyard, sensitive to its location and be attractive to the passing consumer.
At this point, Rural Solutions engaged with the local authority, West Devon Borough Council, and submitted a pre-application enquiry. The scheme was well received, however, the emerging policy proved to be a growing stumbling block, as it stated that farm shops should be associated with a specific farm, rather than being used as a channel for many local providers.
Nevertheless, working in partnership with the Local Council and having recognised some of the representations to have been submitted, the scheme was recommended for approval. Unfortunately, in spite of the positive recommendation and no objection from any of the statutory consultees the scheme was dealt a dashing blow by being refused permission by the planning committee. Rural Solutions were confident however, that the decision could be overturned, and we resubmitted the proposal as well as appealing the original decision. This approach proved ultimately successful and we were thrilled to have finally achieved the consent for Mr Mann.
The next step will be to plan for the development, which will hopefully be in the next year.