Express & Star

Farm shop gets green light to improve customer experience

An award-winning farm shop and cafe has secured planning approval to improve its facilities and enhance its customer experience.

The farm shop

Canalside Farm, Shop and Cafe in Great Haywood, near Stafford, tasked Malcolm Scott Consultants with preparing and submitting an application to Stafford Borough Council to extend th car park, coffee shop and the farm shop at the Mill Lane site to better service customers.

The aplication also involved building a covered market to provide a flexible space for events, local food and craft markets, retail and cafe seating.

Having spent two years working with the business in relation to its vision and strategy, the Malcolm Scott team submitted plans for 8,665 sq ft proposed building development, which in turn would be offset by the removal of 9,536 sq ft of existing glasshouse space at the centre, currently used for events, selling and growing plants.

Chris Primett, of Malcolm Scott Consultants, said: “Canalside Farm Shop is one of the most proactive farm shops in the UK, and is highly focused on giving its customers what they want and need, and on the local community through new employment and their business with potential increased turnover.

“The directors of the business identified a number of areas to prioritise, and in order to continue to build on its reputation, we focused on further developing the retail, hospitality and events parts of the business. In the first instance, this approved planning application allows for an additional 2,691 sq ft of kitchen space, which will enable the business to expand the proportion of products stocked which have been made in the farm shop.

“We also recognised that the farm shop being separated from the cafe by a service road can discourage café customers from visiting the shop, something this approval will address by allowing the complex to create a covered, enclosed link between the two. This covered area will also provide a new entrance to Canalside’s Pick Your Own experiences, improving the customer journey and creating a fantastic new hospitality area."

The approval also gives the business the green light to extend its cafe seating area, providing more space for visitors.

Chris Barton, of Canalside Farm, said: “We are delighted that the Malcolm Scott team has secured these permissions for us, and we look forward to setting the wheels in motion.

“Once complete, the development will provide our customers with a superior visitor experience as well as giving us a real point of difference over our competitors,."

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