A FARMER who supplies wheat to the food industry wants to build a new office block and grain store to make the most of his business.

Ray Craggs has applied to Durham County Council for planning permission for the two developments at East Close Farm, Sedgefield.

The proposed office block would accommodate an office, laboratory for testing grain, staff toilets and kitchen, a reception area and weighbridge and grain sampler.

It would be built in materials to match the farmhouse and replace an existing portable building which is now described as outdated, uncomfortable and too small for the business.

The single storey 128m x 36m 21 bay grain store would enable the farm to store and process wheat grown at East Close and surrounding farms that is sold to produce bread making flour for bakers such as Hovis and Warburtons. It would be located alongside existing agricultural buildings.

A statement to planners says that the new buildings would enable the farm to operate to full capacity and would be sustainable long term as there will always be demand for milling wheat.

It is also predicted to create an extra job and support local businesses such as electricians and mechanics as it will require routine maintenance.

Consultation on the two applications ends on January 8.