Plan for new farm shop and bed and breakfast in Derbyshire countryside

Plans have been submitted for a farm shop, guest room and office space for a former farmhouse in the Derbyshire countryside.

Mary Sisson’s application to Erewash Borough Council calls for a farm shop to open in a former two-story house on No Mans Lane, Dale Abbey.

It is stated in the application that the premises of Sandiacre Lodge Farm would include a shop, a food preparation area for the adjoining Cowshed Cafe, five B&B rooms and an office space.

They say the Cowshed Café, a converted barn, was an “unrestrained hit” with a regular, strong customer base who now “demands more from the venue,” including private functions, weddings, birthday parties, and memorial services.

The document states: “The barn that houses the cafe has a small area for food preparation and a kitchen which is now struggling with formal events on the premises.

“With the farmhouse now vacant, the applicants have identified a commercial use for the building that will both support the café and generate sustainable additional income for the farm.

“The renovation not only helps to preserve the farm and the café, but also creates additional employment opportunities and local food suppliers.”

The Cowshed Café is said to have 11 full-time and 13 part-time employees, and the company says the farmhouse would help create five more full-time jobs.

Bed and breakfast bookings would be made online and guests would be welcomed in the café by appointment.

In order to do justice to the additional activities and the “constantly expanding” Cowshed café business, the existing courtyard was converted into an additional 20-space car park, according to the application details.

The site already had a parking lot with 15 spaces.

The application documents say: “The existing operation (Cowshed Café) is currently promoting business tourism in the Erewash district and generating both local jobs and trade for local providers.

“It also provides important income to sustain the Sandiacre Lodge Farm. The additional farm shop will create a sales market for the farm’s own products as well as a sales market for other local suppliers.

“This retail facility is not expected to have any impact on the profitability of any existing retail operations in Ilkeston or Long Eaton.”

The municipal council will decide on the application in the next few months.

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