Planning chiefs may stop Bouth farm attraction
Last updated at 16:50, Friday, 28 September 2012
A PLAN to turn a vintage farm into a year-round tourist attraction could be blocked by planners.
Alex Sharphouse has held successful open days at his Victorian-themed Old Hall Farm in Bouth, attracting around 600 visitors over a weekend.
He has now applied to make the site an “open farm” for visitors throughout the year.
But his application to the Lake District National Park Authority has been recommended for refusal because the planning department feels it could harm the surrounding area’s natural beauty.
The officer’s report, which will go before the LDNPA’s development control committee on Wednesday, says: “The development would bring advantages to the viability of the farming use and could have wider economic benefits for local businesses.
“The impacts of the development, however, could result in increased traffic generation and visual intrusion that would alter the character of this area and adversely affect its tranquility.”
Mr Sharphouse’s application proposes visitors would park on a hard-surfaced area and report to the farm’s recently-built tearoom.
They would then be taken on a tour to admire the Victorian operation of the farm, featuring vintage dairy-making processes, saw mill and agricultural machinery.
He estimates between 25 and 30 visitors a day, rising to between 30 and 50 on bank holidays.
It would open seven days a week from April to September, but weekends only during winter.
Colton Parish Council reported it was “minded not to object”, but had concerns over the possible future scale of the development and the impact on this “quiet” area of the national park.
Two letters of support were received by the LDNPA, with one saying: “This attempt to diversify should be applauded and will also support the local pub (White Hart in Bouth).”
The LDNPA report said there was the option to grant a short-term, temporary approval as a “trial run”.
But added: “This in itself could give no guarantee the use would continue to be small-scale in the future, and can cause difficulties for businesses in having the confidence to plan for the future.”
First published at 16:16, Friday, 28 September 2012
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
Best of luck to Mr. Sharphouse! What if
he signed an agreement to keep it small
scale for the future? It is absolutely
wonderful and we love going there and
so does everyone. It is so nice to see
a farm of this nature and it is so very
sad to have someone step in and ruin it for
everyone. I think they have a super farm
and of much interest.
this cannot ruin the natural beauty but
it would be kept as it is and for everyone
to enjoy. Move on planning department
and realise this is what the people want!!
i don't know who in the planing department exactly recomended refusal . but I think the fool that rubber stamped it should check that he did not just pick up the wrong stamp .
i am shure that defra /natural england are all in suport of such bio diverse projects.
in fact planers have been told to relax thier grip and pass planing aplications where they cannot find a very good reason for not.
this farmer should be given a medal just for trying such a venture , what is going wrong with this world, common sense has been thrown out of the window,
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