Farm shop hopes to expand offering with redesigned premises
- Credit: Submitted
A popular farm shop is hoping to re-work and extend its buildings in an effort to provide more produce and boost the local economy.
“We are looking to go for a change of use of our grain store, to give us more space, in response to the corona[virus] pandemic increasing demand for our services,” said Algy Garrod, owner of Algy’s Farm Shop in Bintree, between Dereham and Fakenham.
“We didn’t close [during the pandemic] and we supported the local community, and that was gratefully received, so it’s given us the confidence that there is demand for a greater service, to facilitate us to do that in an affordable way.”
“We will convert the old shop into a cafe, with outside seating areas - and it will enable us to stock far more local produce, which is a great forte of ours,” said Mr Garrod.
“It will mean that we have our own kitchen, to service the cafe, but also to make our own ready meals…” he said, adding that they would also have a new butchery.
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Mr Garrod said the project would potentially create 6-8 new jobs, some full, some temporary, depending on the way in which the business develops.
The shop received planning permission for a different design in 2018, but Mr Garrod re-worked the design following the pandemic and the anticipated need for continued social distancing.
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Bintree Parish Council said they supported the plans if concerns over sewage and water management were addressed.
Mr Garrod said he had received assurances from the manufacturers of a sewage plant he intends to install, that the plant will not leak foul water.
He added that it was, unfortunately, “completely unfeasible” to connect the development to the mains sewers, due to private properties getting in the way of the necessary pipe.
“We have investigated that. Obviously I would prefer to have a ready connection to the mains, and it would be an awful lot cheaper, but it’s not there.”
Breckland District Council’s environmental health officers have raised no objection to the plans, and the council are expected to issue a decision on the project by Friday.