Rural gîte approval for farm near Chester
A FARM near Chester with a long-term vision to produce “boutique sparkling apple cider” has had revised plans approved to build a waterfront vacation lodge.
The owners, who bought Duddon Mill Farm in Duddon, near Tarporley, in 2019, aim to make the site profitable again through diversification.
The 45-acre site has a sprawling apple orchard that will produce cider for years to come from the fruit grown on the farm.
In order to get the cider-making activity off the ground, the owners wish to provide additional income by offering “small-scale tourist facilities”.
They had originally submitted plans to Cheshire West and Chester Council for three holiday lodges, but then narrowed the proposal down to one instead.
The independent wooden lodge will be built on the edge of an existing pond in an “idyllic location”.
The full planning application, prepared by Cheshire Planning Solutions Ltd on behalf of Mr. and Mrs. Shrigley-Feigl, states: “The property was purchased by the current owners in 2019 and they want to return profit to the farm, diversifying to increase income and provide small-scale tourism facilities.
“Right now the farm is producing little income and yet the owners still have to bear the ongoing costs of running the farm each year. There is a large apple orchard which produces 10 tons of apples each year.
“The long-term goal is to produce sparkling apple cider with character over the next few years, from fruit grown on the farm. In order to help cover the costs of starting the cider business, applicants will need additional income from the farm.
“The holiday lodge around the pond on the farm could provide much needed additional income, allowing applicants to branch out back into a profitable farm.”
He adds: “The lodge will be promoted for its idyllic location and it is assumed that the majority of visitors will initially be drawn to the site for a walking or cycling holiday due to the proximity to local trail networks and cycle paths around. from that part of Cheshire.
“The project aims to create a peaceful environment; create accommodation for visitors which, through their design and the materials used, blend harmoniously into the natural landscape.
“No landscaping is included, the proposal is that the wooden lodge be built on stilts, to ensure the least possible intrusion and impact on the landscape or local biodiversity.”