Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 2°C

min temp: 2°C

Search

Blakenham: Giant greenhouse proposal recommended for approval

10:32 16 May 2014

Michael Blakenham, who is proposing to build large greenhouses to use heat from the incinerator.

Michael Blakenham, who is proposing to build large greenhouses to use heat from the incinerator.

Councillors are being recommended to approve proposals for two huge new greenhouses to be built at Great Blakenham.

The greenhouses would produce millions of tomatoes and would create up to 200 jobs – but local residents are concerned about their size and their likely impact on roads in the area.

The £30 million project will be discussed by members of Mid Suffolk Council’s planning committee next week, and officers are recommending the councillors should give them the authority to approve the application providing conditions are met.

The greenhouses would use heat generated by the nearby incinerator burning waste from across Suffolk, and part of Norfolk, which is due to start operating within a few months.

Michael Blakenham of Sterling Suffolk, the company behind the project, said: “As well as enormous environmental benefits, this project provides a significant boost to the local economy with jobs on site as well as spin-off benefits for a variety of local businesses.

“We have funders waiting in the wings to back this project, but we haven’t been able to make progress without planning permission.

“If we get approval there are still hurdles to overcome, but I am confident we can be up and running by the end of next year.”

The greenhouses would cover an area of nearly 50 acres and produce 7,500 tonnes of tomatoes a year.

Currently only one in six tomatoes eaten in the UK is grown here. The rest are imported – bringing with them all the extra transport costs and traffic pollution.

The project has the backing of The Greenery, one of the main distributors buying and selling salad produce throughout the UK and Europe, as well as incinerator operators SITA UK and Suffolk County Council.

The project includes safety improvements to the B1113 and extensive tree planting.

Local residents are currently considering their response to the application, and are expected to make their position clear at next week’s meeting.

2 comments

  • Presumably foreign finance, taking the profits, paying no taxes and paying low wages. Since it's clearly a SCC project, could they insist on payment of fair wages to whoever gets the promised jobs, and keeping the profits here?

    Report this comment

    Blackeye

    Friday, May 16, 2014

  • 200 British Jobs or 200 agency gangmaster jobs for Eastern European migrants? I will keep an eye out if this gets approval and goes ahead, to see whether it gets advertised to unemployed people here of whatever race and nationality, first.

    Report this comment

    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Friday, May 16, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

An armed robber’s mother has apologised to workers at an Ipswich Co-op whom he terrified by pretending to have a gun in a sock.

Flat tyres are troublesome at the best of times and are even more of a problem when it happens to a large electric locomotive and the only place to get it fixed is 200 miles away.

Discount supermarket giant Aldi has confirmed its intention to build a new store in Martlesham Heath, and has submitted a formal planning application.

An Ipswich woman who was reported missing to police today has been found safe by officers in Felixstowe.

Community leaders in east Suffolk will be better equipped to fend off unwanted developments – after their proposed sites for new homes were approved by a planning inspector.

Today we are testing your knowledge of Ipswich pubs. Some are still open for business and others have called last orders for the final time.

The sister of a renowned Suffolk filmmaker who fought brain cancer with “determination and incredible strength” is calling for more research into the disease following his death.

The director of Ed Sheeran’s Castle on the Hill video has praised the Suffolk community for helping during the filming.

A national conference discussing how mental health issues affect young people and what support should be provided took place at the University of Suffolk today.

A crewman who suffered severe burns in an explosion on board a container ship, which killed one of his colleagues, is reported to be making good progress in hospital.

Most read

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

MyDate24 MyPhotos24