A retrospective planning application for additional parking and a refrigerated container at Alder Carr Farm shop in Creeting St Mary is to be discussed at Mid Suffolk Council next week.

The family-run business, established in 1981, is seeking permission for a grass area of parking for 20 cars, and three cooling units and a refrigerated container linked to the site’s butchery.

The farm shop was recently named the best small farm shop of the year at the Farm Retail Association Awards.

The application is seeking permission to retain the agricultural land used for car parking, a shipping container used as a walk-in refrigerated unit and three air conditioning units located on the wall of the building.

East Anglian Daily Times:

The farm’s rapid growth, including the establishment of the butchers in 2021, has created demand for more car parking facilities.

But not all are supportive of the changes.

The owners of the neighbouring Old Hall, a listed building, have filed a series of objections to the application.

They said: “Our views at the front and on approach to our property are blighted by the refrigerated shipping container, three cooler units with metal and wooden frames and boards and other incongruous installations along the curtilage of The Old Hall, which is its only access from/to the public highway. We consider this to represent substantial harm to the setting of this significant heritage asset.”

Additionally, they complain about access to their property being blocked by deliveries to the farm shop.

East Anglian Daily Times:

But other neighbours are more supportive.

One wrote: “Alder Carr Farm has provided livelihoods and opportunities for a great number of families and businesses since it started as a pick-your-own in 1981, and inevitably it has grown.

"It is a great community asset which has adapted to the many agricultural and social changes that have occurred since then to cope with the sometimes conflicting needs of both.

“The additional parking is managed sensitively with no disruption to the land and could easily revert to agricultural usage in future.”

Another said: “Alder Carr Farm provides a fantastic amenity to the community of Creeting St Mary and its surrounds.”

The case has been referred to the Mid Suffolk District Council planning committee because the applicant Joan Hardingham is married to district councillor Nick Hardingham.

It will be discussed on Wednesday.