Bloomfields has successfully gained permanent consent for a total of 19ha of polytunnels on two green field sites for a soft fruit farmer, one site of which is adjacent to a SSSI river.
An Environmental Impact Assessment Scoping Opinion was submitted prior to the design and submission for the sensitive development, in order to ensure that no adverse impact would occur. Following on from this, an application was designed to provide ecological enhancements to the adjacent SSSI habitat and species, with land being set aside specifically for this purpose by the farmer.
The applications were submitted with robust agricultural justifications and analysis of drainage, ecology and transport issues. This supporting information ensured that there were no objections to the proposals from the Local Authority or the County Council.
The additional 19ha of polytunnels will allow one of the top soft fruit farmers in the country to expand their production further and continue their success in the soft fruit industry. The long term management of the ecological enhancements will also provide the farm with further experience of alternative land management practices.