BOSSES at an under threat cafe which faced having to close in a planning row say "common sense has prevailed" after being allowed to stay open. 

The owners of the Farm Café, at Chigborough Farm, had applied to Maldon District Council for retrospective permission to change the use of a barn into a café.

There has been a restaurant under operation at Chigborough Farm for more than 40 years but a row ensued after it was moved to a new location on the site in 2018. 

Planning officers at the council had recommended the bid be refused but at a meeting last night councillors voted it through. 

Paul Tallowin, co-owner of Chigborough Farms, told the meeting the site’s former restaurant has been closed for two years and "it's self evident that it can not be considered a viable alternative".

He added: “We’re not seeking to open a new restaurant, just trying to move the current planning consent from Chigborough Lodge to a disused agricultural barn on the other side of our courtyard.

“If it must come to a vote whether the cafe’s ancillary to businesses in Chigborough, then you must understand objectively who decides this best."

Maldon and Burnham Standard: Inside - The Farm Café at Chigborough FarmInside - The Farm Café at Chigborough Farm (Image: Submitted)

He added: “We can say for certain that the café is ancillary and we have 40 years of history to prove this.”

“There is overwhelming support from the public and all the public consulted bodies.

“The planning officer highlights this in the report and there are no objections.

“So, please vote in favour of keeping this popular cafe at Chigborough by allowing it permission to continue to support local tourism and the Maldon district.”

After the ruling a spokesman for Chigborough Farm and Fishery wrote on social media: “Thank you so much for all the help and support that you given The Farm Café at Chigborough.

“Maldon District Council was flooded with nearly 500 letters of support by the close of business today.

“We were very appreciative too of all of the councillors who really understood the value of rural business and voted overwhelmingly in favour of our café this evening, all against the planning officer’s recommendation.

“They have very much taken into account the volume of public support and listened to your opinion.

“Some of them had even given up their time to speak from outside of this committee for which we are very grateful.

“Fortunately common sense has prevailed in this case.

“We look forward to seeing you at Chigborough in the near future.”