Government inspector puts an end to the ‘Good Life’ dream of Fenland duo

A BROTHER and sister’s ‘Good Life’ dream has been shattered by a Government planning inspector who said their business plans have little chance of success.

“The proposed enterprise has not been planned on a sound financial basis,” concluded Ahsan Ghafoor.

“Available evidence puts significant doubt on the assertion that the enterprise would be sustained for a reasonable period because the budgets are unrealistic and significantly incomplete.”

The inspector dismissed an appeal by the couple who had been refused permission by Fenland District Council for a mobile home, office block, stables, chick nursery, glass house, kennels and a poly tunnel.

The couple, Claire Bartram and her brother Chris, bought the 16 acre site at Wayland Farm, Bevis Lane, Wisbech St Mary, three years.


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The holding, a quarter of a mile from the village, had been neglected for many years and the family duo, helped by their respective partners Sheri Dellow and Harry Timmins, planned to develop a viable business.

“Free range, rare breed poultry will be at the heart of the smallholding, producing both pedigree stock and eggs to meet a growing market,” their agent, Peter Humphrey Associates, had told planners.

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“As their intensive smallholding evolves it is intended to supply horticultural products to local markets. The potential for a horse breeding project involving Suffolk Punch and Welsh Cobs is being researched and developed.”

But the inspector who heard the appeal said insufficient financial detail had been offered to justify the development.

Budgets lacked detailed costs for utilities and for buying and operating plant and machinery inspector, and these all contributed to a poorly produced business plan.

The inspector was critical, too, of the “substantially incomplete” fishing lake which also led to it failing the financial tests needed for those wanting to set up rural businesses.

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