A HIGHBROW rural business was given permission to build a large children’s day-care centre despite worries it was becoming an “industrial complex in the middle of the countryside”.

Daylesford Organic Farms, based at Adlestrop near Stow-on-the-Wold, filed 25 planning applications over the past 10 years as it cemented itself as a go-to location for posh shopping, cookery courses and eating out in style.

Their newest venture is a childcare centre on a 0.49 hectare site next to the farm and its shop, with enough space for 45 children and 15 staff.

Nearby residents had raised concerned the business was taking over the area, with some labelling the large site as “overdevelopment”.

At a Cotswold District Council (CDC) planning meeting in January, councillors voted to visit the site to see the impact it was having on the Cotswolds AONB.

At a planning meeting on Wednesday, Mark Harris, Abbey Ward, said: “Going on a site visit it did not seem to me that it was at all contentious. In fact I think the condition of not being able to use the centre on Sundays and bank holidays should be dropped. People needed childcare on those days.”

Sue Coakley, CDC cabinet member, said it was encouraging to see successful rural businesses providing employment for the area.

She added: “Now they are providing childcare for staff and visitors, all I can do is support this application.”

Councillors remained united in their praise of the businesses and its meteoric success, but not all were convinced by the planning application.

Cllr David Fowles, The Ampneys and Hampton Ward, said he had spoken to the former councillor for Adlestrop who was serving when Daylesford submitted its first application for a tiny farm shop.

“Now what we are looking at is an industrial complex in the middle of the countryside,” he said.

“I take on board that the nearest residential property is 300metres away, but when will this end? Because this place is huge.”

Daylesford recently featured on a repeat of Radio 4’s Mark Steel’s in Town, where the comedian joked about the price of its products and the kind of people who shopped there.

Cllr Patrick Coleman, Stratton Ward, used the opportunity to say the council should be working with the company to create a long term plan that protects the AONB.

“This is what happens when you don’t do planning in the AONB, and instead you just react to applications,” he said.

Local ward member Julian Beale agreed with this, saying they should be “engaging with the owners”.

Thirteen voted to pass application, one voted against and one abstained.