It seems Warbourne farm is closing it's retail outlet partly due to the recession but also because of planning difficulties with the NFNPA. Some of you who live over that side of the Forest may have more info on this one but it seems to me that the time will come when planning will have to become one of the facets of Transition, especially in a heavily controlled area like the New Forest National Park.
The possibility of keeping the shop open by selling food grown outside the farm has also been ruled out. Planning policies enforced by New Forest National Park Authority (NPA) only permit the sale of food produced on site.
If permitting bought-in produce could have made the farm shop viable then the NFPA planners must be mad to not flex rules a little to help such a respected and prestigious facility to continue.
Planning restriction also heavily hamper the installation of domestic, alternative energy sources such as PV. arrays and wind turbines. I think the NFNPA attentions are too focussed on human habitation and maintaining chocolate box 'prettiness' and not enough on the open Forest. I was surprised at the total capitulation of the the NFNPA to the dog, horse and pony fraternity regarding the draft management plan, it shows what can be achieved by enough well organised voices.
If some one gets to talk to George and he is resigned to closing I think we should still make our voice heard as I am sure planning will come up time and again as a stone-wall to sustainable initiatives in the NFNPA area.
I am currently also involved with the case of a friend who the NFNPA are trying to prevent earning his living as a fuel-wood processor by refusing a very legitimate application for a temporary dwelling on his own land where he has had a mobile home for the last several decades. This guy is close to 60 and is simply asking to continue to live where he was born in the Forest. This case has got to the injunction stage and is looking serious.
That's great thanks all - but we need to do our homework first.....Jonathan Blease is a good friend of George's so I'll discuss things with him and I'll raise the matter with Claire (NPA) to get some guidance......will be in touch!
PS I'm no planning expert either!!
All good sensible, healthy debate and you wonder why the NFNPA have not understood all this - but clearly they have not. Until you attempt to set up, establish and run a small business I don't think you have any idea of how hard it is and what difficulties you will face. I was very upset when Laverstoke closed. Seeing the other posts here also makes me realise how small suppliers to Warborne will suffer too. Would be happy to support any initiative that gets underway.
I'd be happy to have a meet up to talk through this topic. Is there a farm-shop that makes good coffee where we could meet up - and maybe get some input from the farm shop owner too. I find being in the appropriate environment concentrates the mind........does Sunnyfields have a coffee shop?
I'd be happy top meet up and share what i learnt about the law during the days of laverstoke. as i am a single mom / breadwinner with a fulltime job and 2 teenagers, i could do a weekend meeting. If that doesn't suit everyone else then i will try and fit in with whatever works for most . this is a huge issue as having worked in organic food production, i am worried about long term food security in Britain. we need to think bigger - about a co op or something.
just today i met Catriona and John in Exbury who are growing local food and looking for outlets -- we need to join up our resources and make something happen. The law won't change - we need to be smart to work around it to ensure our own ability to survive food shocks. if most people in this country knew how much food was imported they wouldn't sleep at night - farmers are competing against cheap continental produce, all trucked in with a huge co2 footprint. when peak oil happens can youimagine the consequences for Britain?
The Food and More Project has had a very experienced, knowledgeable team working on it plus inputs from many other sources. Your comment about bigger is correct and it has to have collaborative ownership. Have a look at the website - www.thefoodandmoreproject.co.uk - warning - there is a new site coming soon.
I am delighted to announce that Spice ‘n’ Easy has been nominated in this year’s Hampshire Life Food & Drink Awards and I am hoping to make it on to the short list of finalists. To help in this endeavour I would be most grateful if you would…
I tried the cheese from the Fernhill Cheese Company and went back for more! Soft, creamy and fresh, the children liked it too. Worth stopping at their stall at Lymington Saturday Market just opposite St Thoma's Church.