Carola Godman Irvine
Mid-Sussex District Council
Agriculture & Rural Estates
Key Project Information
- The scheme comprises an exciting new farm shop and tea-room set within the grounds of a family run farm. The farm shop and tea-room will sell products sourced from the farm itself, such as beef, pork, lamb and game. It will also promote and sell products from local food producers.
- The scheme will be a sustainable shopping and dining venue.
- The shop will provide an opportunity for locals to experience truly home-grown produce while also creating employment in the community.
- A third of products will be sourced within a 30 mile radius.
- It is expected the farm shop and tea room will open in 2022.
Mid Sussex District Council strongly supports this type of application. It showcases the rural economy at its best. It will provide up to 25 employees and will also help Ote Hall Farm to thrive with this latest initiative. It was supported by an enthusiastic reception to the proposal from across Burgess Hill, Wivelsfield and its surrounding areas.
Cllr Gary Marsh, chairman of the planning committee
The client wanted assistance with planning permission to achieve their vision of a sustainable farm shop and dining experience which will also benefit the local community.
Our expert teams provided planning, economics, environment, heritage and transport and infrastructure advice to ensure the successful planning permission.
We worked with a wider project team which included Appetite Me, rural diversification experts, ArkleBoyce and Darc Studio.
The project was sympathetically designed to complement the character of this traditional farm, the adjacent Grade 1 listed Great Ote Hall and its surrounding agricultural buildings. It was carefully created to future proof Ote Hall Farm.
Our expert teams project managed the pre-application discussions with the LPA and the submission of the planning application working closely with the client, other sub-consultants and Appetite Me, rural retail and hospitality to secure planning permission for this important project within the required timescale. This was a cross-boundary application requiring submissions to two neighbouring planning authorities and highway discussions with two County Highway Departments.
We identified the necessary work streams required following a negative pre-application response from the LPA and ensured a comprehensive planning application was submitted addressing all the key matters including design, heritage, landscape, retail impact, transport and set out in full all the economic, social and environmental benefits which would be provided by the scheme. This was fundamental in the planning and heritage judgement in the consideration of the proposals by Historic England and the LPA.
A public engagement exercise was undertaken in order to demonstrate the public support for the proposals. This comprised a leaflet distributed to all nearby residents and a dedicated email address to receive public comments. The comments received were reported in the application package. This was key in showing the level of public support for the proposal.
The economic, environmental and social benefits of the proposal include:
- The provision of a well-designed farm shop and tea-room and local retail tourist attraction which will be supported by local members of the community;
- Provision of locally sourced home grown produce;
- The creation of 25 FTE jobs;
- Improved access to the grounds of Great Ote Hall, a local-valued heritage asset;
- Creation of the ‘Godman Foundation’ to promote education, training and mentoring of young people using profits from the new business;
- Local community events hosted in the proposed tearoom/ restaurant;
- Improved footpaths to link to existing paths in the Farm and provision of car park (during opening hours) to assist with accessibility to these footpaths;
- Potential outside play space in response to local resident’s needs;
- Retention of public views of Great Ote Hall and opening up new views of this Grade 1 Listed asset;
- Ecological enhancements including provision of wildflower and wetland habitat;
- Provision of a tourist information point within the farm shop;
- Supporting rural diversification and the local economy as encouraged by DEFRA and grants issued by RPA.
- Ensuring the future-proofing of Ote Hall Farm for years to come.
Images courtesy of Arkle Boyce.