A DAIRY farmer who acts as an ambassador for the Island’s agricultural industry is still hoping she may be able to build her ‘dream home’ – despite a planning setback.
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Lodge Farm dairy farm of Paul Houze and daughter Becky Houze. Picture: ROB CURRIE. (34522176)

Becky Houzé’s application to build a two-bedroom property at Rue de Champ Colin in St Martin was refused by the Planning Committee this week.

Although the application was supported by several States Members, as well as Jersey Business, the States veterinary officer and Jersey Dairy, a recommendation from planning officials for it to be refused was supported by committee members by four votes to one on Thursday.

Grounds for refusal cited by the committee included the ‘detrimental impact’ of the ‘modern design’ on the landscape, the loss of agricultural land and concerns about vehicular access.

Ms Houzé said the proposal had been to build a home from where she would be able to run nearby Lodge Farm, which she co-owns with her father, Paul, as well as raising a family in the future, having recently become engaged.

She said: ‘It was disappointing – we had designed a dream home suitable for a farmer with a home office and to make it “future-proof” as somewhere where we can raise children.

‘We wanted to build an eco-house with flat roofs and large windows that would face the sun and help heat the property, but we were told that it didn’t fit in with the area.

‘I can understand the feedback, but am not too disheartened – we will talk to planning advisers and our architects and we hope to submit a revised application shortly.’

Among those supporting the application was Grouville Constable Mark Labey, who described the Island’s young farmers as being ‘our rarest breed’ and ‘on the verge of extinction’ in a submission.

Infrastructure Minister Tom Binet said in a submission that Ms Houzé’s continuing farming was ‘imperative for the future of the dairy industry and the food security of the Island’.

Bega’s Better Farms Program supports eligible dairy farmers’ by offering up to $1.1 million worth of financial grants each year.

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