Torbay Coast & Countryside Trust (TCCT) are delighted to announce that their regeneration plan for Occombe Farm is set for approval!
On Monday evening the Torbay Council Planning Committee resolved to approve the Trust’s application, subject to officers working with the Trust to address some outstanding details including the location of a small barn and a transport plan. The regenerated Occombe will incorporate a mix of indoor and outdoor play and activities alongside a much larger farm shop, improved café and flexible activity space with new rental units; providing a year-round destination.
The farm visitor attraction will be a unique visitor experience, unlike anything currently available in Torbay. It will incorporate animal paddocks for rare breed cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and poultry, with an indoor barn accommodating small animals for supervised handling and feeding. Fun, interactive play features and treasure trails will also be incorporated throughout this area.
It is anticipated that the new Occombe enterprise will create up to 60 new jobs. The Trust hopes to start building work in February 2020 and open the doors on the new Occombe in early 2021.
Damian Offer, Chief Executive of the Trust said
“We were delighted to hear this positive outcome, which takes us a big step closer to providing Torbay with a unique quality destination for residents and visitors. The new Occombe enterprise will provide funding for the Trust to invest in making land better across Torbay for wildlife and people and reduce reliance on Council funding.”
For twenty years, Torbay Coast & Countryside Trust has been responsible for protecting and conserving over 1,700 acres of Torbay’s special natural places including Berry Head Nature Reserve, Cockington Country Park, Occombe Farm and many precious woodlands, cliffs and coastal walks. The Trust receives funding from Torbay Council for managing land but this funding is inadequate to keep the land in good order. The Trust’s plans for the regeneration of Occombe Farm will help reduce the Trust’s reliance upon council funding in future.
The Trust can now focus on securing the funds needed for the project.
For more information about this press release, please contact: 01803 520 022
Notes to editors:
Coast and Countryside Trust
An independent charity dedicated to looking after Torbay’s most important wildlife and heritage sites, including Berry Head National Nature Reserve, Cockington Country Park, Occombe Farm, The Seashore Centre, the South West Coast Path and the English Riviera Geopark. For more information about Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust visit www.countryside-trust.org.uk
Occombe Farm, located on the outskirts of Paignton, was originally set up as a base for Torbay Coast & Countryside Trust’s farming operation. Using grant funding the Trust built a farm shop and café in 2005, to create a local food hub for Torbay and generate revenue for the Trust’s work in caring for Torbay’s unique natural heritage. While the Café has grown and become profitable, the shop proved unviable in its current form. The limited revenue generated has proved inadequate to fully fund the maintenance of all the facilities originally created at Occombe. Currently Occombe comprises of a popular and successful Farm Café, a kitchen classroom and cottage garden, winter housing for the Trust’s cattle and sheep, paddocks for chickens, lambs, pigs and alpacas, Nature trail and bird hide, Farm shop ( vacated by tenant in May 2018), Trust head office and visitor reception and venue for annual fundraising event Occombe Festival.