A ten year legal battle over 25 hectares of polytunnels in Herefordshire has finally come to an end after a legal challenge was withdrawn.
According to the local press, soft fruit grower Neil Cockburn of Pennoxstone Court Farm in Kings Caple near Ross-on-Wye has been trying to retain the structures since 2006, with planning complicated by the fact that the farm lies in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
His application was initially approved by Herefordshire Council’s Planning Committee, but has since been subject to a Judicial Review, appeals and other legal steps. “We have had confirmation from the High Court that the appeal action has been withdrawn which means that there is now no possibility of any further legal action to dislodge the substantive planning permission granted by the inspector last summer,” said Mr Cockburn. “As part of the local community we look forward to working positively with our neighbours and continuing to produce delicious, nutritious strawberries and raspberries with the help of the farm’s 150 hard-working staff.”
“Farmers and growers are custodians of rural areas but we must also remember that the countryside is a working landscape,” commented Sarah Faulkner, the NFU’s environment and rural affairs adviser.