3rd July 2019
A dairy is celebrating being able to expand its business thanks to a successful planning application managed by Hobbs Parker Property Consultants.
Ottinge Court Farm, near Canterbury, has been producing milk since the 1920s and is proud of its dairy traditions. This new planning permission allows it to extend its dairy with the addition of a purpose-built structure in which to process the milk into yoghurt.
David Guy of Otties (the brand) explained: “Milk wholesale prices are pretty low and we are seeing many dairy farms move over to natural milk delivery. We have already established a milk vending machine and now we want to diversify even further within the dairy industry by expanding our cheese and yoghurt offering.”
Hobbs Parker was able to assist this by picking up the planning application’s ‘red tape’, outlining the agricultural justification for the extension and the benefits of farm diversification.
Jonathan Lee, Senior Planner at Hobbs Parker Property Consultants, explained: “Traditionally farms were more diverse, with the product often sold direct to the consumer from the gate. As a result, modern processing and sales can be a bit of a grey planning area.
“Otties was on a tight time limit if it was to benefit from grant funding to support its expansion, so we stepped in to advise and manage the process. The application was granted and the extension, which is a purpose-built modular building in two sections, has now been set into place.”
The whole process was completed in a matter of months.
Jonathan added: “We were very pleased to be able to help ensure this agricultural diversification was able to go ahead. We also sampled the cheese and yoghurt – they’re excellent!”