Whitstable Oyster Fishery Company granted planning permission

Following a planning appeal and public inquiry, the Whitstable Oyster Fishery Company (WOFC) have been granted permission to keep oyster farming trestles on the foreshore of Whitstable Bay.

WOFC are a family-owned company, and one of the oldest companies in the UK with roots tracing back to 1793. In recent years, the company have moved to farming oysters on metal racks, known as trestles, to develop them from seed oysters to market size.

Following the issue of an enforcement notice to remove the trestles by Canterbury City Council, Ellie Evans acted as an expert witness at public inquiry to identify the economic impact of the trestles and the production of oysters for Whitstable. Ellie highlighted the historical association between the town and oysters, and the draw of oysters for visitors and the visitor economy, which has contributed to the significant economic development of the town in recent years.

The Planning Inspectorate considered a wide range of factors in determining the outcome of the appeal, including ecological and safety matters. It was judged that following these matters the trestles should be allowed to remain on the beach.

In consideration of the decision, the planning inspector Katie Peerless stated “I have no doubt the oyster trestles as a whole are providing some economic benefit to the town and the production of Whitstable oysters contributes to the tourist industry and raises the profile of the town.”

This decision will enable the world-famous and PGI designated Whitstable Oyster to continue to be produced, and to contribute to the offer of Whitstable as a sustainable visitor destination in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To find out more please visit: Whitstable Oyster Fishery Company granted planning permission for oyster trestles on appeal 

Image source: Unsplash


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