Plan for low carbon Welsh greenhouses rejected

Plans for a £50 million, 7.6 ha greenhouse complex to grow tomatoes near Wrexham have been rejected by local councillors.

The plant, which would have built at Five Fords between Dwr Cymru’s Five Fords Waste-Water Treatment Works and SecAnim Abattoir would have created up to 150 jobs through its ‘cutting-edge, low carbon agriculture project’ according to developers. However, the plans were rejected by a Planning Officer under delegated powers for reasons including its adverse visual impact on the wider environment and a lack of existing facilities.

The developers, Brighton-based Low Carbon Farming, had previously said that the plans, which could have produced 40 per cent of all the tomatoes consumed in Wales, would only be viable if they could attract maximum funding under the Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive so that a decision had to be made on the project before tariff degressions came into effect on 1 October. However, Wrexham council had criticised the developers for a lack of communication during the planning process.

Low Carbon Farming is currently building two similar projects in East Anglia and says, ‘Employing a high productivity, state-of-the-art, growing system, the greenhouses will capture and recycle all run-off water. This prevents any harmful soil leaching and run off and harvests all rainwater on site.’

Photo caption: Plans for a greenhouse similar to this one in Norfolk have been reject by Wrexham Council

Photo source: Low Carbon Farming / Step Associates

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