HOLIDAY cottages and a new café are planned for a farm located between Chester and Ellesmere Port.

A change of use is planned for Top Farm, Croughton, from its existing residential dwelling to a holiday cottage, with redundant agricultural barns being converted into further holiday cottages and a café/coffee shop and associated service areas.

Plans have been submitted to Cheshire West and Chester Council by applicants The Planning & Design Associates on behalf of the farm.

It is proposed to convert the main house, an eight-bedroom, three-storey building, into holiday cottages, with a replacement garden room extension and the conversion of a garage into a games room.

The original property is said to date back to 1850, with additions and outbuildings created over the years.

A converted barn would house three holiday cottages, the manager's office and external stores.

The farm overlooks the canal, which provides moorings for about 40-45 boats, and it is not proposed to change any of those. However, it is proposed to upgrade the hardstanding adjacent to the canal cutting to provide better/more stable ground to enable boats to be winched out of the water for maintenance and repair, as currently large areas become waterlogged and very difficult to navigate round in any type of service vehicle.

The applicants state: "The main farmstead is now worked independently by local contractors who, due to the nature of the ground conditions, only produce a haylage crop once/twice a year and is not sufficient to sustain the viability of the farm as a single going concern.

"The scheme however seeks to maintain the agricultural use of the main farmstead but seeks permission for alternative uses within the application to create a diversification with a mixed use development that can operate in harmony with the existing uses on the site and ensure the viability of the site/land is preserved."

It is proposed to upgrade the existing access road, with additional car parking for 25 spaces, with oversize parking spaces for motorhomes.

The scheme involves a net reduction of building area due to the planned demolition of an existing standalone store.

Additional trees would be planted.

Planners add: "Traffic movements are anticipated to be slightly raised from their current levels, but not sufficiently to create noise nuisance, and safety on the highway will not be compromised, given the reuse of existing accesses (already used for the motorhome compound and canal side)."

Comments on the application, reference 22/00272/FUL, can be made on Cheshire West and Chester Council's planning portal.