Plans for farm shop and 100-seater restaurant in Saltford spark concern
By BeckyFeather | Monday, January 07, 2013, 19:56
Plans for a farm shop and 100-seater cafe/restaurant with a children's play area just off the A4 Bath Road between Keynsham and Saltford have sparked concern.
The access to Glenavon Farm in Saltford where Bath District Farmers want to create a farm shop and restaurant seating 100
The farm buildings would be renovated
The scheme for Glenavon Farm - not far from Avon Valley Country Park - has been submitted to Bath & North East Somerset Council by Adam Stratton on behalf of Bath District Farmers.
It involves the renovation, extension and conversion of farm buildings into a farm shop and cafe/restaurant with parking. The application statement says that "the shop would offer a unique opportunity for visitors to view processes attached to the butchery, delicatessen, bakery and ice cream parlour".
Only a handful of responses - all objecting - have been received and there were complaints from two of the objectors that the scheme had not been advertised.
The owners of the nearby Broadleaze Nursery said: "It is just by chance that we found out about this application over the Christmas period as it has not been advertised anywhere."
And the Williams family, who live next to Glenavon Farm, wrote to the council saying: "We were not informed of the nature of the proposal, that an application was to be, or indeed had been made until we received the council's formal consultation letter. We do not consider 21 days in the period leading up to and including Christmas to be sufficient to fully understand the implications of the proposal and respond to it." Their letter says although they do not wish to stand in the way of much-needed new investment in the farm, there are aspects of the scheme that they consider "unacceptable".
They say they have no objection in principle to the establishment of a "moderately scaled" farm shop but the proposed scheme indicates a level of activity "far in excess" of this, including a large cafe/restaurant seating more than 70 inside and a further 24 outside, as well as food preparation displays and activities, and a children's play area, with a substantial amount of car parking.
They also say there would be "severe delays to traffic both trying to enter and leave the site that will create risks to visitors within the constrained area of the application site and increase the risk to road users on the A4".
They add: "We are also concerned about the proximity of the children's play area in particular to both the visitor access road and car park and to the delivery and service area, fearing it poses a risk to youngsters using the site."
Saltford Parish Council says that although it is supportive of local businesses generally, it has "serious concerns" about traffic entering and leaving the site because of narrow access and limited visibility.
It adds that the cafe size seems "disproportionally large compared to the shop" and is concerned that the opening hours are not stated, and should be restricted.
Parish councillors also have concerns about light pollution, the siting of the children's play area and how youngsters would be contained safely. But there is no objection from highways department at Bath & North East Somerset Council which considers access is good and that public transport links are good.
The deadline for comments on the scheme has now passed, and planners are due to make a decision later this month.