THE co-owner of a farm that had retrospective planning permission for its café approved by Maldon District Council has thanked the public for their support.

Paul Tallowin, co-owner of Chigborough Farms, spoke at Maldon District Council’s North Western area planning committee meeting on Wednesday, January 10.

An application submitted to the council sought retrospective permission to change the use of a disused barn on the site into a café.

The café is operated by Black Pig Catering as the Farm Café.

Planning officers had recommended the bid be refused.

A report said: “It has not been demonstrated to the satisfaction of the local planning authority that there is a justifiable and functional need for the activity within this rural location and that it could not have been reasonably located in existing towns, villages or allocated employment areas.”

Mr Tallowin said: “I’m really appreciative of the councillors for voting in favour of the café against the planning officer’s recommendation.

Maldon and Burnham Standard: Inside - The Farm CaféInside - The Farm Café (Image: Submitted)

“Around 500 people had written individual letters to the council.

“Even though the planning officer dug her heels in right until the last minute, it’s nice that there was more value than putting the restaurant in the middle of town and voted against her.

“It’s been very stressful from my point of view, but nice to culminate in a positive result.”

He added: “Adam, who runs the café has been in limbo for about two years - not knowing where to turn with his restaurant and staff.

“This is the second time it was put forward for refusal by the planning officer.

“It really doesn’t help any business to try and thrive with that weight coming down on you.”

“It’s just a bit of relief – common sense has prevailed in the end.

“We’re thankful for all the people who voted in support in the Maldon area.

“People appreciate having a café they can walk to outside the town centre. Not everyone wants to go to the town centre to enjoy a meal or coffee these days.”

“We look forward to welcoming the public over for meals out, we’re open for business as usual.”