New plans for Semer farm shop

Hollow Trees, the farm shop and popular children’s farm trail in Semer, near Hadleigh, is applying for planning permission to make a number of changes at the business.

The 130-acre working farm, shop, cafe and plant centre is run by Robert and Sally Bendall.

They want to relocate the visitor ticket kiosk, put up an open-sided canopy, and convert a barn to a butcher’s store,

They are also asking for permission to re-route part of the 1.2km farm trail to take it away from a neighbour’s property on a western boundary, put up a cart lodge, and extend the car park from 71 spaces to 82 spaces.

The planning application, which has been submitted to Babergh District Council, is also for retrospective approval for developments carried out since 1986 on the farm trail, including a maize maze and the change of use of a barn for leisure use.

The council has been told the farm trail and events attracted 38,000 visitors last year, including many schools.

Hollow Trees employed 56 people including 23 students last year and says the application will support two more members of staff. The farm runs a popular Pumpkin Festival each year.