Rural business near Catsfield looking to diversify

A rural business based near Catsfield has put forward plans to expand and improve its offering. 

Wednesday, 28th April 2021, 3:12 pm

In an application to Rother District Council, proposals have been put forward to create a mixed leisure and commercial development at Wylands Farm, off of Powdermill Lane.

The proposals are to convert and refurbish a number of existing agricultural and storage buildings on the site to provide three self-catering holiday homes, approximately 1,500sqm of business and commercial floorspace, as well as approximately 400sqm of storage and workshop space. 

These conversions would involve the creation of a visitors’ centre, a farm shop selling local produce as well as new workshop and office spaces.

In a design and access statement, a spokesman for the applicant said: “The proposed development would optimise the potential of the site and re-use existing buildings to provide improved facilities for Wylands Farm and convenient and flexible workspaces for other businesses. Rural diversification and economic/social well-being lie at the heart of the scheme.

“The proposals enable the sympathetic conversion and re-purposing of the existing buildings. The proposed development would result in only a modest increase in floorspace and includes new landscaped areas that would provide ecological enhancements and provisions for appropriate surface water management. 

“The proposed uses would be compatible with the location of the site and support the existing uses of Wylands Farm and enable it to diversify.”

Currently, the farm also operates as an angling business, which would remain should the development be approved. It has nine fishing lakes, a cafe, offices and a tackle shop. 

It also already has some holiday accommodation on the site, in the form of chalets and mobile homes.

The majority of the surrounding area will remain as either woodland or traditional farming land. 

A new landscaped courtyard and parking area would also be built as part of the development.

A spokesman for the applicant said: “The overall concept is to improve the existing condition of buildings and their setting, provide new floorspace for uses that will complement the existing activities at Wylands Farm and provide flexible commercial and business floorspace that will encourage and support new and established small businesses. 

“This can be achieved by consolidating the built assets on the site and enhancing the qualities of the buildings by converting and refurbishing them to support the proposed uses.”

For further information on the proposals see application reference RR/2021/498/P on the Rother District Council website.