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Artisan ice cream company Jacks Gelato could open at Manor Farm in Girton

Manor Farm in Girton could become home to an artisan ice cream company under new plans for the site.

A planning application has been submitted by Jacks Gelato to change the use of the farm in order to manufacture ice cream.

Manor Farm in Girton. Picture: Google Street View
Manor Farm in Girton. Picture: Google Street View

The farm had previously been let to the former deputy leader of Cambridgeshire County Council, Roger Hickford, who was found to have bullied council officers in order to get preferential treatment in relation to his tenancy of the council-owned farm.

Currently the site has permission to operate as a canine training centre, which was gained by Mr Hickford in 2019, although not put into use.

Now a Cambridge-based company is looking to create a new future for the farm by making ice cream there.

Alongside the plans to make artisan ice cream, the application also looks to install ground-based solar panels, up to 40cm high, to provide power to the business with wildflowers planted around them.

The application, submitted to South Cambridgeshire District Council, states: “Jacks Gelato is a small company based in Cambridge. The company has a strong environmental focus and will be net zero no later than 2030.

Jack's Gelato
Jack's Gelato

“It uses electric vehicles and has minimised use of the single fossil fuel vehicle in its fleet to less than 1,000 miles a year, which will be replaced with an electric version when the opportunity arises.

“It uses no other fossil fuels in its operations. Every employee travels to work by foot, cycle or train.”

Four employees would work at the site, which would open from 8am to 6pm on Monday to Friday, and 10am to 6pm on weekends.

There are also no “significant changes” planned for the outside of the existing barn building.

The application adds: “The proposal establishes an artisan ice cream manufacturer on a site that has previously had permission for a significantly more intensive canine training centre use, whilst also boosting biodiversity on site and creating a blueprint for a small, truly sustainable and community-orientated business. It also creates much-needed rural jobs in a sustainable location that is easily accessible via public transport.”

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