taw River Dairy is applying for planning permission for a farm shop and car parking on their farm near Sampford Courtenay.

The holding is run by young farmers Sam and Gemma Bullingham who started from scratch some five years ago and have built up a dairy herd of more than 100, with Gemma in charge of the herd. They would like to set up their own farm shop at Westacre Farm near Sampford Courtenay to sell their own milk and ice cream as well as their own meat.

A statement in support of the application stated that the aim was to establish the long-term future of the business.

‘The applicants run a dairy enterprise selling milk and dairy products from their holding at Westacre Farm,’ it read. ‘As well as milk from their Jersey herd, one of their popular products developed over time is ice cream, which has sold well and proven popular with retail outlets and at outdoor events nationally. The applicants also sell meat products from the farm.

‘In order to maximise their return and control the marketing of their products they would like to open a small farm shop on land opposite their farmhouse to sell direct to the public.’

‘They already sell milk and ice cream from the farm and travel around selling ice cream at outdoor events, but this has proven to be expensive and also a far less appealing business model based on the pandemic and the impact that could have in the future.’

The couple both come from local farming families and have five children aged between one and six years old, who are at local schools and pre-schools.

The statement continued: ‘They have worked hard to develop the farm business and as a local farming family they want to consolidate and establish the business on site with a farm shop. This will protect their futures, their children’s futures and secure and create job opportunities on the holding.

‘The business has grown over time and they have now reached a point where they need to invest and take the next step.’

The application stated that the couple had over 100 events in 2019, selling ice cream, until the pandemic interrupted this trade. They would now like to establish their own farm shop to ensure a viable and stable future.

They currently sell milk at an honesty box and supply 65 local stockists, delivering to them five days a week.

They employ ten members of staff, who live within five miles of the site.

Among other applications to West Devon Borough Council:

Four-bedroom dwelling on land at SX 400 795 Higher Edgcumbe Lane, Milton Abbot – https://apps.westdevon.gov.uk//PlanningSearchMVC/Home/Details/224350