Food and Farming Hub: Relocating Hampshire Cheese Company

The story began when the Hampshire Cheese Company, having grown exponentially since its inception in 2005, found itself short of space on its current site and unable to expand due to the constraints of the site. After an extensive search around Hampshire, they approached the owners of Lodge Farm to see if there could be potential synergy there on a site that would give them space to grow and realise their full potential.

G H Janaway and Sons have been farming in the local area for over 100 years and have owned Lodge Farm since the 1960s. Their primary operations are livestock, potatoes, cereals and eggs. They have a successful shop, Newlyn’s Farm Shop, operating from the site, along with a café and a number of other commercial units. All of this has provided diversification and assisted in giving the farm business greater resilience at a time when farming is under significant pressure.

The opportunity to produce a local cheese on the site, immediately adjacent to the farm shop that has sold it for many years, is a match made in heaven. It presents the opportunity to create a food and farming hub, with the building designed with viewing windows to educate people on how the cheese is made. However, in planning terms there were a number of hurdles to overcome.

That is where Bell Cornwell was able to step in and add value to the project. Bell Cornwell have been involved in a number of planning applications on the site over the years, including gaining permissions to add to the range of commercial units on the site to support the agricultural business.

The land in question sits outside of the designated Locally Important Employment Site, which the commercial units on the site have been designated as. Bell Cornwell demonstrated that there was no capacity within the designated area to accommodate the development, the land was of no benefit to the agricultural operations and it was entirely appropriate, in line with other policies in the Local Plan, for the development to be located as proposed.

A number of other technical matters had to be addressed, including drainage, transport, odour and biodiversity. All of which were satisfied through the submission of supporting information.

The development was approved by the Council under delegated powers, which will enable this beneficial facility to be constructed, to support the farm, and facilitate the future growth of the cheese company.

For more information about this project and advice on how to expand your enterprise or diversify your farm business, please get in touch with Partner Rebekah Jubb.

Client
G H Janaway & Sons
Architects
Jaques Int Ltd
Local Authority
Hart District Council
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