Gorefield rose growers told it can’t build house to help transition of business to next generation

Paddock land at Thorn Hall. J B Turner Roses application has been turned down on appeal.

Paddock land at Thorn Hall. J B Turner Roses application has been turned down on appeal. - Credit: Archant

The owners of a rose growing and distribution business have been told they can’t build a house on their land.

Applicant J B Turner Roses Ltd, which has been in business for 30 years, wanted to build a two-storey four bedroom house and detached garage on land north of Thorn Hall at Fendyke Lane, Gorefield.

The company founders intended to move into the proposed dwelling so their son, who is gradually taking over the business, could move into their home, Rockwood House.

But their application, and subsequent appeal, have been rejected because planners ruled there is no “essential need” for the house.

J B Turner Roses Ltd grows and distributes mainly roses but also fruit trees, ornamental trees, shrubs, soft fruit and hedging plants, and other types of plant.

The company has a turnover of about £2.5m and employs between 14 and 16 people full-time, with more than 30 seasonal staff.

Inspector Jonathon Parsons said: “Although the dwelling would be attractively designed and landscaped, the site would be located within the countryside where policy requires any new isolated dwelling to be justified.

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“The essential need to permit a rural worker to live permanently at or near their place of work has not been proven.

“The economic benefits of the enterprise are significant but I am not persuaded that a second dwelling is necessary to serve the enterprise and secure these benefits.

“Furthermore, the size of the dwelling would be unrelated to the needs or viability of the enterprise, and even if there

was an essential need, no compelling reason has been put forward to discount alternative accommodation nearby.”