An enterprising Herefordshire farmer has been given the go-ahead to create a restaurant, guest house, field laboratory and office at his farm.

But this has again pitted him against his local parish council, who objected to the noise that the scheme could generate, and questioned whether it met planning rules.

Ben Taylor-Davies of Townsend Farm, Brampton Abbotts near Ross-on-Wye plans accommodation for guests on educational visits to his innovative and highly diversified farm.


The “niche, low-key” restaurant will host up to 16 at a time and would be “finished by 9:30pm”, Mr Taylor-Davies said in a letter accompanying his application.

Ninety-five per cent of the produce served in it, ranging from meat, grains, vegetables and fruit to beer and wine, will be produced on the farm.

Production of a Wye valley pasta from grains grown on the farm will also start “shortly”, his letter adds.


The laboratory and office would meanwhile be used for Mr Taylor-Davies’ growing business as a soil biology analyst.

There would be “some transport and highway impacts” from the scheme, his planning application says.

But there would be no extra traffic, with just “six to eight” vehicles a day at weekends only, one delivery a week “as produce will be home-grown”, and no extra refuse collections.

The buildings would be insulated internally to minimise noise.

But Brampton Abbotts and Foy Parish council objected that no noise impact assessment had been provided.

And it questioned where the farm buildings “have been used solely for agricultural use prior to the application” - a condition of the permitted development right invoked by Mr Taylor-Davies.

But planning officer Joshua Evans said he had seen “no information to the contrary” on this point, while aerial imagery and site photos appeared to support Mr Mr Taylor-Davies’ assertion that they had indeed been in farm use.

Herefordshire Council’s environmental health officer did not object on noise grounds, but urged that no amplified music be played inside or outside the restaurant, which formed a condition of the permission.

Mr Evans added that, “in line with the parish council’s concerns”, the new restaurant’s hours of opening would be limited to between 11am and 11pm Friday to Sunday, and any deliveries kept to daytimes.

Mr Taylor-Davies last month faced a planning dispute with the parish council over his plans to host “community gatherings” at the farm on weekends and holidays. That application was also approved.