A beloved Somerset ice cream company can soon relocate to its new home after plans were approved by Somerset Council.

Styles Ice Cream has operated successfully since 1988 from its current base from Styles Farm in the small village of Rodhuish, on the eastern edge of the Exmoor National Park a short distance from Minehead.

To expand its operation, the company has purchased the entirety of the Wibble Farm Nurseries site, which lies on the A39 between Williton and the Quantock Hills national landscape (formerly area of outstanding natural beauty, or AONB).

Somerset Council has now approved plans which were put forward in early-January – meaning the relocation could begin in a matter of weeks.

Wibble Farm lies on the southern side of the busy A39, a short distance from the village of West Quantoxhead.

Relocating to this former nursery will allow Styles to “regenerate the whole of the site to create a place that can support and enhance the local community, economy, nature recovery and transition to net zero”.

To kick-start the transition and allow it to expand its business, a new light industrial unit is planned for the northern edge of the site, near the existing access road.

Under the agreed plans, renewable energy will be generated on site through solar panels, with new office space being created alongside storage and processing facilities.

Up to 56 new jobs will be created by the relocation, though the majority of these will be part-time.

The plans were backed by both Williton and West Quantoxhead’s parish councils, along with Somerset Council division member Rosemary Woods.

She said: “This is a good location to provide extra employment in area.

“It is not overlooked and is within the West Somerset area, which keeps any existing employees within fairly easy distance to relocate.

“It is well served by the existing road network and is good towards its commitment to climate change in harvesting rain water and the use of solar panels.

“It is great that some garden area will be maintained to support the
growing of food.”

The plans were approved through the delegated powers of the council’s planning officers, rather than a public decision by its planning committee west (which handles significant applications in the former Somerset West and Taunton area).

A spokesman for the council’s economic development team said: “We are aware that this business has been looking to relocate within the West Somerset area for some time.

“The site onto which the organisation intends to relocate has had a history of commercial and business use.

“This application safeguards a significant number of jobs in an area of the county where employment opportunities are generally more limited.

“The proposed solar panel installation will reduce the reliance on external sources of energy, thereby increasing the long-term viability of the business.”