Breakfasts and burgers now on menu at booming North Staffordshire attraction

Breakfasts and burgers are already on the menu at a tourist attraction - just days after it secured fresh planning permission. Bobby's Ice Cream Parlour now has permission to serve a wider selection of hot food at Springfields Farm, on Hulme Lane, near Werrington, after snapping up the chef from The Red House, in Caverswall.

But concerns have been raised by neighbours and councillors about the venue submitting retrospective planning applications - instead of waiting for planning permission to be granted in the first place.

The latest retrospective planning application was approved by Staffordshire Moorlands District Council at its latest meeting. The venue's new opening hours are 10am to 5pm Sunday to Thursday and 10am to 7pm on Fridays and Saturdays.

READ: Booming North Staffordshire attraction wants bigger and better café Planners are set to allow a change of use at Bobby's Ice Cream Parlour near Werrington allowing it to expand it menu

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Applicant Natalie Taylor told councillors: “Since you granted us permission to go ahead with Bobby's things have been going well. The indoor seating has helped us make the site much calmer and quieter. There are no crowds of people outside, nor do we have food vans.

"The proposal will not impact the greenbelt nor will it give rise to any harm to the character and appearance of the surrounding area. The proposal will not increase the number of people visiting the site and overall will not have any greater impact than the scheme you have already approved.”

The retrospective planning application attracted four objections.

Objector Jane McGowan said: "It looks like Bobby's Ice Cream Parlour has taken away any control planning had over this development and therefore planning are unable to safeguard the character and amenity of the area. I do understand it’s not your fault and that the ice cream parlour chooses to operate in this way but I think some due diligence needs to be applied and control taken back.”

A councillor also raised concerns about the operation of the site.

Councillor Mark Johnson said: “It is indeed a pleasant and thriving business to briefly visit but I don’t think that’s the end of the story. I know enforcement, we must put to one side, but there has been a lot of presumptive building or use on this site and that doesn’t fill me with confidence.

"We heard the last time the applicant was before us that they wanted to be a good neighbour and clearly in many ways, if it’s to be believed and we believe them that in many ways they have, but in planning matters they do not seem to have been and that worries me because no matter how good a business is we do have a planning system and it exists to protect the interests of residents.”

Planning committee chairman Peter Wilkinson added: “I think the major concerns are highway safety and residential amenity. I think there needs to be dialogue between the applicant and the residents."

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