The scheme comprised a shop, a tearoom and coffee shop, a children's play area, a 2,500m2 plant nursery and a 1,500m2 external storage area. The council claimed that the proposal amounted to an out-of-centre retail development selling goods that were not produced on the farm. The reporter agreed that even if the proposal involved a form of farm diversification, this did not remove the need to assess it against relevant retail policies.
The appellants, he observed, had not assessed whether there was a clear need for the scheme or whether sequentially preferable sites were available in a nearby district centre. The appellants' estimate that around half the goods sold from the shop would be sourced from the local area made the link with the farm unit tenuous, he concluded. He was also concerned about the scheme's visual impact on the character of the area.
DCS Number 100-051-165
Reporter Iain Lumsden; Hearing.