DORSET Council has agreed the continued use of a mobile home at The Orchard site in Chalmington.
The site already has planning consent for five shepherd’s huts, a taproom and a farm shop, agreed in 2018 and then amended in 2020 with proposed changes to the design of the mobile home.
Objectors to the development claimed that the huts and mobile home will make the site, off Chantmarle Lane on the junction with Chalmington Firs, more visible above hedgerows in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
A new planning report has concluded that the need for an agricultural worker’s home still remains and should be agreed for another three years.
It said that the agricultural holding and business proposals had been delayed but still has the potential to be realised and could be profitable within two years.
The Orchard site is on a strip of land skirting the northern boundary of the holding which is currently farmed as a cider orchard. The wider holding, of almost 8 hectares is made up of a 40 year old apple orchard, planted with around 2600 cider apple trees.
Cattistock parish council had asked the extension for the mobile home to be limited to 18 months which it said should be enough time to prove the financial viability of the site.
Among the three letters of objections were claims that the delays were as a result of the applicant’s own actions, that the three year extension is too long and that some did not accept the need for an agricultural worker’s home on the site. There was also a belief that the impacts on the AONB had not been given sufficient weight by Dorset Council when it first considered the application.
One letter was received in support of the application and the principle of a rural craft business on the site.
The new conditions agreed by the council limit the mobile home use to
February 2024 or until the agricultural need ceases on the site, whichever is the shorter.
Conditions will also apply to the the taproom, café and farm shop which will be limited to 9am to 5.30pm on Mondays to Saturdays and not before 11am or after 4pm on Sundays and public holidays.
No more than five shepherd’s huts will be allowed on the site and can only be used for holiday let purposes.