MEON Valley MP George Hollingbery officially opened a newly-expanded farm shop.
Denmead Poultry, at Woods Edge, Hambledon Road, is run by husband-and-wife team Andy and Karen Rafferty.
It has grown from a single small chicken shed to a fully-fledged smallholding and agricultural operation over the last seven years.
Mr Hollingbery was given a tour and was also introduced to Davina, the famous Bishop’s Waltham goose who was rescued from a roundabout earlier this year and now lives with the couple.
‘This kind of small independent business is exactly the kind of place our local communities need and it shows that the rural economy is doing very well in the Meon Valley,’ said Mr Hollingbery.
‘I have heard a lot about Denmead Poultry from local people and I was delighted to open their new farm shop.
‘I wish Andy and Karen all the best with their expansion and future plans.’
As reported, the pair asked Winchester City Council for temporary permission to live in a caravan on the 2.5-acre Denmead Poultry site, off Hambledon Road this year.
The caravan was used for business purposes, but the Raffertys, who live in Hamble Lane, Purbrook, said they needed to be on-site round-the-clock. Objections were raised to the council, however more than 160 letters of support were also sent. The council granted permission to the plan.