Horticultural firm’s plans to grow get green light

A LEADING horticultural firm has received unanimous backing for its expansion plans.

Barfoots of Botley was given support to extend a packing store at Sefter Farm. The go-ahead from Arun District Council’s development control committee last week came after members carried out a site inspection.

The visit was arranged when the committee deferred the decision in January because of concerns about the scheme’s impact on a historic wall. But panel chairman Stephen Haynes told the committee’s latest meeting their fears were unfounded.

“The wall is L-shaped,” he said.

“This proposal will affect a 20m section at one end of one of the lengths. The wall is not as necessarily historic as we might have originally been told.

“We felt there was no merit or credit in retaining the whole of that section. But we did request that the materials that would be taken from the wall were kept for maintenance for the retained section of the wall should it be needed in the future.”

This was included among the five conditions imposed by the committee.

Barfoots managing director Julian Marks told councillors in January the 963sqm extension at the Pagham Road site was essential for its business of supplying summer produce to leading retailers.

The farm has two listed buildings and the previous meeting was told the extension would harm the setting of the Grade-II listed Sefter Farmhouse.

Cllr Dawn Hall, the committee’s vice-chairman, said the site inspection panel saw the distance from the house to the wall and it was their opinion the extension would not affect the setting of the listed building.