Telford farm shop’s expansion plans have 'stalled'

A farm shop’s expansion plans have “stalled” because of the economy and coronavirus pandemic, and it is seeking to continue trading from its existing premises for the time being.

Green Fields Farm Shop, in the grounds of Dobbies Garden Centre, Donnington. Picture: Google Street View
Green Fields Farm Shop, in the grounds of Dobbies Garden Centre, Donnington. Picture: Google Street View

Green Fields Farm Shop, off Station Road, Donnington, has been owned by Country Food and Dining Ltd since 2009, and has had two five-year periods of temporary planning permission since then.

In 2012, the Berkshire-based company was granted permission to build a bigger store on the same site and extend its yard, but a planning statement says the estimated building costs “are in excess of £1 million”. It adds that “the long-term ambition is to implement the approved development within the next five years, if financially viable”, but it has applied for renewal of its temporary consent.

Lilleshall Parish Council will be consulted, and Telford and Wrekin Council will make its decision at a later date.

The planning statement, prepared by Elizabeth Attwood of Attwood Planning on behalf of Country Food and Dining director Tom Newey, says the Donnington store is one of two branches the company has in the Telford area and six around England.

“There has been a farm shop on the site since the first permission back in 1990,” Mrs Attwood writes.

The Donnington store was granted a five-year renewal of its temporary planning permission in 2010, and consent for a replacement farm shop, a new access road, an eight-foot fence and extensions to the service yard was granted in two years later.

“Due to the economic downturn, implementation of the approved development is taking longer to realise than originally anticipated,” Mrs Attwood adds.

Structure

“Moreover, Covid-19 has significantly affected the business.”

A further five-year temporary period was granted in 2015.

“This has now expired, hence this application for a further renewal for the existing shop whilst the economy continues to improve,” she writes.

“The long-term ambition is to implement the approved development within the next five years, if financially viable.

“A further temporary permission will allow a long-established business to continue trading prior to the new permanent store being built.”

The existing shop, which stands next to and shares an access with Dobbies Garden Centre, “is a wooden demountable structure with a felt and tar roof and a timber and corrugated sheet roofed entrance porch” with outbuildings providing storage space at the back, Mrs Attwood adds.

The proposed new building will on the same site but larger, with its grounds extending further north.

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