Plans to retain 75 storage spaces for caravans at Framfield are before Wealden District Council.
Harry and Sue Diplock say, in documents before the council, that storage of 25 caravans at Mill Farm, Uptons Mill Lane, was initially approved in 2006.
Since then the business has grown quickly, with additional investment in providing clean hard standing, updating the storage building, fencing, screening landscaping, CCTV and intruder alarms, specially-made gates and security barriers.
A letter from the Diplocks says: “We farmed here for a number of years continuing in the footsteps of Harry’s family who have farmed in the parish for three generations.
“However, with the economic problems that agriculture has faced it was unfurtunately not viable on the acreage that we had and rental values made it impossible to take on more land.”
The couple said they didn’t want to leave and so made the difficult decision to diversify.
They added: “If we don’t secure the permission to retain 75 storage spaces the business will not be viable and we will be forced to investigate other avenues of providing revenue such as liveries, caravan rallies on our remaining land or agricultural contracting all, of course, involving traffic movements.”
The Diplocks say they have a good working relationship with longstanding neighbours and have consulted them at each stage of development of the business.
“We all maintain the rural traditions of helping each other out at times of need and they respect our need to diversify.
“Even those few originally sceptical about the caravans have admitted that they have not caused the problems they feared and letter to that effect accompany this application. One neighbour who lives at the top of Streele Lane says he has never seen a caravan on the lane.
“However, there are always newcomerc that are unaware of the history of an area and fail to understand that there are a few peole left in the countryside that need to earn a living.”
The couple conclude: “We very much hope therefore that our planning application will be supported and we will be able to continue to offer this valuable caravan storage facility to our customers.”