The boss of a popular agricultural shop in Nottinghamshire is distraught as plans to expand business are rejected

The owner of a farm store has shared his frustration after a proposal to expand the store was rejected. The Ravenshead Farm Shop in Main Road, Ravenshead, had submitted plans to install a toilet on site and create more space for food preparation by adding an 18m² rear single-storey extension, as well as retaining three cold stores.

But the plans were rejected by Gedling Borough Council, who argued the extension would encroach on the surrounding greenbelt and wider countryside. Owner Craig Voce, 27, whose family has owned the farm which has now supplied the store for four generations, said he was disappointed, saying the advice was “compromising“the success of the business.

“It was an extension of a staff area, and toilets for staff and customers – trying to be handicapped accessible and all that. It’s disappointing it didn’t work out, there were two of us at the start and now there are six of us and we’re also stretching out in a cafe so not getting it has jeopardized our plans,” Mr Voce said.

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“It’s a real shame. It’s not really the Greenbelt to be honest, it’s behind the store and against the barn, there’s a few yards you could build on.

Mr Voce said he believed the decision had “has cut the wind from its sails’ and hampered the momentum the farm shop had gained since its inception in 2016. He signaled that he would appeal the decision and urged the council to reconsider.

“We’ve been farming here for four generations. We’re a growing business trying to thrive in the face of Covid and price increases now,” Mr Voce added.

“We are always paying staff and recruiting more people and then the council wants to do this to you. It makes me wonder why we are doing all this, we are trying to provide sustainable food and something local for people around us but it’s just sad that the council can’t see that.”

A spokesman for Gedling Borough Council said: ‘Ravenshead Farm Shop’s development plans do not comply with the council’s green belt planning policies and therefore could not be supported. The applicant can, however, appeal to the Planning Inspectorate, an independent body empowered to overrule the council’s planning decisions.

Nottinghamshire Live recently found the popular store to be one of the county’s favorite farm shops. The store, which customers say is one of the best farm shops in Nottingham, serves a selection of meats, cheeses, sausage rolls and pastries as well as award-winning homemade pies sold as a speciality.

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