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.
I agree totally Richard. This appears to be a classic example of the 'letter of the law' overruling the 'spirit'. Planning regulations need to be set in a wider context so that the implications of a single decision can be set against the broader objectives.
Any farm needs to have direct access to retail its products -- because it's about the only time you get a price that accurately relects the production costs. but how many farms produce a wide enough range of products to get the public to shop there regularly? the law is only 10% of produce can be imported - this should be closer to 30%. any local farm shop attracts local small industries looking for outlets, by not allowing this the NFNPA are stifling all local industry.
there seem to be no laws that encourage local food production and distibution - only laws that limit it.
Ok, so the Food Challenge is an eat local, grow local group. What can we do change planning policy?
Is it a New Forest 'law' or a national one? Is the NPA just implementing something that's out of date and needs to be revisited? Or is the 10% across the country? In which case how to other farm shops operate?
It would be great to know more about it and then how we can work with it/change it?
well sarah as i know it is countrywide - a 10% ruling taken from a case that went to the house of lords -- the rule is called the millington rule. i had a copy from a legal resources website that explains the case - basicaslly a vineyard that wanted to sell its own wine.
the difference seems to be the way some local authorities enforce it -- for example in berkshire / bedfordshire / devon and many other counties they seem to leave shops that operate on this basis alone and allow them to use A boards on the roadside etc... maybe because the councillors realise the value they bring to the local area. whereas we have the NFNPA who don't seem very concerned wiht rural industries and are dedicated to applying the letter of the law.
shops that have full retail permission - like ferndene does - are not on farms. farms won't get full retail permssion due to extra traffic, unsuitable positioning for retail outlets - in the minds of the councillors, and the neighbours.
I think it is really sad that The shop is going up at Warborne. Not only are there going to be job losses there, as a local producer myself I have have lost an outlet to sell my produce as have many other producers.
If shops like ferndene have full retail permissions because they are not on a Farm surley they can't call themselves a Farm shop. I myself have looked in to running a farm shop locally and the NFNPA say that it must be stocked with 70% local produce at any one time. Whilst I'm all for local produce this would very very difficult to do at certain times of the year, hence why I never took the Farm Shop any further and I really didn't like the idea of be told what I could do with my own business!!
I'm based in Fordingbridge and I've never used this shop, but I was talking to Richard about it yesterday.Is it not possible for the shop to start a petition among it's existing customers. I would be very happy to add my name, in the name of democracy and good sense. I'm a little confused, if Natasha was told 70% had to be local produce, what is this 10% rule?
well it could be that the NFNPA are trying to be flexible -- but it's a bit late. Setley Ridge are also having problems and they stock loads of local producers products -(as well as items produced on their site.) When i ran the laverstoke shop it was very obvious that the NFNPA themselves didn't understand the law,or know how to interpret it. in fact their own local plan makes provision for exceptions to the rule, but they don't seem to understand how to implement the law in sympathetic way. they didn't even know of the millington law - which is just crazy! and then they slap on the enforcement orders.
i wonder how many local growers the new forest has left.
as for democracy -- nobody in power seems to care about local produce or growers - i almost wish there was a food security scare so they would wake up.
i have to say when i had the laverstoke shop i was told that i would be encouraging people to picnic in the forest and would be competition to tesco's - both perceived to be bad things in the NFNPA's eyes, that says it all ---
That's mad ......... now I would have thought encouraging people to picnic in the forest would be a good thing!! And as for Tesco "WHO ARE THEY"
This whole matter makes my blood boil Grrrrrrr. I really could get up on my soap box but I'm going to be a good girl today.
I'd be happy to come along but I am not that well versed in the planning law side of things - if someone else has better background knowledge it might be better for them to go.
Oh, and we should talk to George Heathcote of Warbourne first to get updated.
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…