The owners of an organic dairy farm in Devon, milking 115 cows, contacted Acorus initially in 2010 with the concept of relocating the farm to a new Greenfield location within their land ownership. The current family farming partnership had been in operation for seven years, however the family had farmed the land for the last three generations.
The farm house and dairy buildings were detached from the main area of land farmed and were in close proximity to the village centre. Increasingly concerns were being raised as to the suitability of the site and location to continue to operate a large dairy enterprise, particularly given the potential impacts on local residential amenity.
Given the existing buildings and facilities dilapidated state, they were becoming gradually unfitting for modern agricultural practices; this limiting the expansion of the herd numbers the owners greatly desired. In addition, the site lay within a designated NVZ area and improvements to waste storage to meet the regulations were required. Further waste storage at the existing farmstead had been deemed inappropriate by the Environment Agency.
Pre-application consultation was undertaken with the Council to establish whether the principle of relocation was acceptable and to confirm the level of information required to support the application. The Highways Authority was also consulted as improvements to a field access were required to allow development of the site.
The proposed development included cattle housing, silage clamps, slurry storage, milking parlour and other associated infrastructure which would allow expansion up to 140 milking cows plus herd replacements and young stock. The new location to the south east of the village allowed a carefully designed and appropriately laid out site to be proposed which met the needs of the client and improved access from the buildings to the land farmed.
In addition to the farm buildings a dwelling to meet the functional needs of the business was required. Following the pre-application discussions, it was deemed that, due to the new location and proposed expansion, a temporary dwelling application was appropriate in the first instance rather than a permanent dwelling.
Two applications were submitted to the Council; one for the farm relocation and a second for a temporary dwelling for a period of three years. Both applications were approved under delegated powers, subject to planning conditions.
Acorus entered discussions with the Council and other parties throughout the process from initial instruction through to discharge of the planning conditions which enabled a positive outcome to be achieved on behalf of the client and allowed the development to commence.