Great Blakenham: Residents’ concerns remain over £30m greenhouse project

A planning application for a £30 million project, in Great Blakenham, which would create over 200 jobs and turn Suffolk into one of the country's largest tomato producers, has been submitted to planners. Pictured is a similar tomato greenhouse project in King's Lynn A planning application for a £30 million project, in Great Blakenham, which would create over 200 jobs and turn Suffolk into one of the country's largest tomato producers, has been submitted to planners. Pictured is a similar tomato greenhouse project in King's Lynn

Matt Hunter matt.hunter@archant.co.uk
Friday, December 20, 2013
7:00 AM

Concerns still remain over a £30million project to create two huge greenhouses, despite changes being made to the proposals.

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A planning application for a £30 million project, in Great Blakenham, which would create over 200 jobs and turn Suffolk into one of the country's largest tomato producers, has been submitted to planners. Pictured is a similar tomato greenhouse project in King's LynnA planning application for a £30 million project, in Great Blakenham, which would create over 200 jobs and turn Suffolk into one of the country's largest tomato producers, has been submitted to planners. Pictured is a similar tomato greenhouse project in King's Lynn

Mid Suffolk district councillors Lord Michael Blakenham and Stephen Wright want to build the greenhouses, which would cover an area of almost 50 acres, in the Great Blakenham area.

But since the plans were first announced a group of residents have voiced their opposition with concerns over the scale and affect the development could have.

Tim Hubert, who farms and lives in nearby Bramford, claims his property would be the closest to the proposed development.

“I happen to be the closest resident to the greenhouses, at one point it finishes 30 metres from the front of my house,” he said.

“Light pollution is a big concern as well as the visual impact. This is an industrial process put up in the countryside. No-one will benefit from it – there’s not one positive aspect for people.”

Melvin Gregory, who lives in nearby Little Blakenham, said: “Admittedly Michael Blakenham has attempted to address some of the concerns we have but the fact remains that this proposed development will have a massive impact on the people living nearby.”

He said the greenhouses would cover an area which would be equivalent to about 30 football pitches.

The project would be heated by the £180million energy-from-waste incinerator in Great Blakenham, which is due to be fully-operational by the end of next year.

Lord Blakenham said: “We have actually been meeting with them (the residents) since last November which is quite unusual. Normally people do not get much chance before an application goes in and we have very much wanted to know what their concerns are with the plans.

“Of course people are concerned, it’s normal for people to be concerned about change.”

He said although there had been concerns over road safety on the B1113 “long before” the greenhouses were proposed, the development would bring “some good” traffic improvements. Measures to reduce the width of the carriageway, which is intended to cut the speed of vehicles and prevent overtaking, have been included in the plans.

Regional manager for SITA UK, the company which will be supplying the heat to the greenhouses, is Cliff Matthews.

He said the greenhouses would be “well-screened” from residents’ views. He added that there would be “no light pollution” as the greenhouses would be covered with automatic blinds. A planning application has been submitted for the greenhouses, which would produce 7,500 tonnes of tomatoes a year.

4 comments

  • bad hair day today no comments printed . [ all harmless]

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    TERENCE MANNING

    Friday, December 20, 2013

  • why bother with this area [ to many nimbys]

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    TERENCE MANNING

    Friday, December 20, 2013

  • i live in GT Blakenham and look forward to the plan coming into practise the land as it is looks a mess and no green houses will look as bad as the blithe on the land scape that the incinerator has done,also having to buy less tomatoes from the likes of Spain can only be good for our country

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    pandy

    Friday, December 20, 2013

  • The fields where the greenhouses are planned is prime agricultural land and is not a mess. pandy is obviously not familiar with the area

    Report this comment

    uk column

    Friday, December 20, 2013

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

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