Stanford Farm and Pleydell Smithyman

Stanford Farm:  Members helping members.

Stanford Farm is a thriving rural enterprise, offering a charming venue for weddings and other events in the idyllic Shropshire Countryside. Achieving planning permission for the change of use of the ancestral farm was not without problems, but with the right team on board Stanford Farm is now going from strength to strength and providing many couples with the perfect venue for their special day.

Stanford Farm

In November 2016 Stanford Farm owner, Cindy Edwards, approached Pleydell Smithyman Ltd seeking assistance with a planning application to change her redundant agricultural buildings into a wedding and events venue. Having initially submitted the planning application herself, Ms Edwards admits to having underestimated the requirements of a planning application submission and the complexities of the planning system. She needed professional support to achieve the planning permission required to realise her dream.

Stanford Farm has been the family business for over 100 years. After inheriting the farm from her family, Ms Edwards was keen to keep the farm in the family but with no desire to continue farming the land, she had to find an alternative use for the site. Ms Edwards has extensive experience in event management so creating an events based business, with an emphasis on weddings, appeared to be the perfect opportunity to bring life back in to the ancestral farm and enable it to remain in the family as a viable business.

The development proposal included the conversion and change of use of the redundant farm buildings, including the stables which became a charming fully licensed ceremony room, the bull barn which boasts a fully stocked bar and the cow shed which provides a large event room for wedding receptions and parties. The milking parlour has been converted to create a kitchen and preparation area for outside caterers and the courtyard and extensive grounds around the buildings can be used to personalise events with, amongst other things, marquees, tipis and cocktail bars. The proposals also included the provision of on-site camping facilities to allow guests to stay at the farm.

Pleydell Smithyman provided support by supplementing the application with a detailed planning statement which provided justification for the change of use in this rural location and also provided additional drawings to assist in the visualisation of the proposals.

In addition to planning advice and services, Pleydell Smithyman provided graphics support and ecology advice and used existing contacts with transport and noise consultants to ensure the application was fully supported with the relevant information to allow the thorough consideration of the proposals.

The proposals came up against significant objection from local residents, who were concerned about the potential impact on their rural community.  As were statutory consultees such as highways, who were concerned about whether the local road network could take the increased traffic on event days and conservation officers who were interested in the sympathetic conversion of the historic buildings. Pleydell Smithyman used their planning knowledge and experience to identify the main issues behind the objections and quell concerns raised by providing detailed information, evidence and justification in support of the proposals. The benefits of the proposal, such as job generation and partnerships formed with local businesses providing a boost to the local economy, were highlighted and balanced against the objections and through careful negotiation the proposal was deemed acceptable and planning permission granted.


Since achieving planning permission the business has thrived and Stanford Farm has recently been nominated for a Countryside Alliance Rural Oscar, an award which seeks to honour stand-out local businesses that go that extra mile and are deserving of national acclaim.

If you are facing planning issues, or have a proposal in mind that you think would benefit from our support, Pleydell Smithyman Ltd would be happy to hear from you. With specialist knowledge in a wide range of planning sectors we can assist with all types of planning issues. Pleydell Smithyman are a multidisciplinary company who, in addition to the planning services offered, are also able to assist with ecology, landscape, architecture and design. 

For further information:

Visit the Pleydell Smithyman website call 01952 433211 or  email

Visit the Stanford Farm website call 07773 165791/ 07729 180630