Café’s future in the balance as council reviews planning

The wait for a planning permission appeal continues for the owners of a Berkshire retail nursery and farm shop.

Hare Hatch Sheeplands owners Rob Scott and Andrew Cardy are waiting to hear whether their £50,000 café will be granted permission. The 65-seater eatery opened in late May to tap into the seasonal trade and proved a hit with customers — but not with the Wokingham District Council. The farm shop relocated to the nursery site from across the road after the landlord, Wyevale Garden Centres, terminated its lease late last year. The two Hare Hatch businesses opened as one on 15 April. The owners lodged planning applications for the farm shop and café in 2006 but then carried out the work without permission. The council approved retrospective planning permission for the £50,000 farm shop but rejected the café in February and again in early June. The result of the latest appeal is yet to be determined. An appeal has also been lodged for the farm shop which is restricted to stocking produce from within a 10-mile (16km) radius. The pair point out that there are not enough suppliers in that area. Scott said they did not have the right planning permission needed to trade properly. “It’s ludicrous. It’s important to us because it affects what we’re allowed to do. “The only way we’ve been able to achieve what we have done is by doing the work before getting permission. It’s the only way we can get up and running otherwise both businesses would be dead,” he said.

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