Just a quick update for all the wonderful supporters of our Farm Cafe and Workshops crowdfund.
1. PLANNING APPLICATION: As we mentioned in our last update, we submitted our ecologist’s report on the bat roost in the farm buildings. On the basis of this report Barnet have given us some restrictions on the tools we can use during construction to limit any impact on the bats, but nothing that should severely impact the project. We expected that now the report has been accepted that a final decision would be made as to whether we could proceed with the construction, but unfortunately the planning team have come back to us with new questions regarding waste management for the expanded cafe. This has meant we have had to revise our drawings again, and these now have to be put back out for public consultation. We're unsure as to why we are getting these requests for further details only now (we first submitted our application in November 2018). Suffice to say, it is frustrating that it is taking so long to get a decision made and we are eager to get going. We very much appreciate all of your patience and rest assured we will let you know as soon as we have another update. [Your crowdfund pledges are all still held by Spacehive and won’t be released to us until we have planning permission.]
2. EXISTING CAFE: As many of you know, while we are waiting for the planning permission decision to be made, we have reopened our existing cafe and have been serving lovely teas and coffees and cakes. We are open Wednesdays 10am-12pm (Stay & Play) and 10am-2pm every Saturday. For half-term next week, we have an extended Stay & Play session at the café from 10am-2pm on Wednesday 30th May. We are also pleased to say that we are now accepting card payments! ☺
3. GOOD GROWTH FUND - FEASIBILITY STUDY: In other news, we are making progress with the feasibility study and business planning funded by the Mayor of London Good Growth Fund. We have commissioned a great architecture practice called RCKa and we will be working closely with their team over the next few months on our strategy for bringing all of the buildings back into use and to ensure we have a bright and sustainable future ahead of us. As part of this work we will be engaging local people, Barnet council and the Brent Cross South regeneration team at Argent Related. This is an incredibly important piece of work and will enable us to articulate a compelling and sustainable future vision for the farm, backed up with research, drawings and a strong business case.
4. THE FARM GARDEN is going from strength to strength and as many of you will have seen, we have expanded beyond the garden gate into the section of the park just outside. This used to be just scrub, grass and a lot of rubbish, but thanks to the help of a wonderful team of volunteers and regular visits from GoodGym we've made great progress and the area is really starting to take shape. You may have noticed that we have even started experimenting growing strawberries, mange tout, tomatoes, corn and potatoes in over 50 hay bales! Do come by and visit us, get involved or just enjoy the space. The garden is open Mondays 10am-11am, Wednesdays 7-8pm (for volunteer induction), Friday 9am-11am and then 3-5pm, and Saturdays 10am-2pm.
That's all for now. We will update you on the planning decision as soon as we hear. Hopefully it won't be long now. Do come by and visit our cafe and garden and let us know if you would like to get involved. We're always looking to expand our team. You can email us on firstname.lastname@example.org and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (links below).
The Farm Team
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/chfarm