A Scottish-boarder grower has won the right to build a new 200m glasshouse for the production of tomatoes after convincing the local council that local water supplies would not be affected after the new development at Standhill Farm in Hadwick.
The application by farm owner, Jim Shanks, included the building of two large rainwater tanks to provide all the water required to supply the growing of the tomatoes in the glasshouse.
But residents nearby were concerned as they get water supplies from the same aquifer currently being used by the farm. They were worried that significant water extraction from the borehole for the tomatoes could affect private supplies.
Mr Shanks said that on rainfall figures for the past 40 years there would have been sufficient rainwater to provide for the tomato-growing operation.
“If, over time, there were a need to extract water, I have an extraction licence for farm use of 25m3 per day – that is more than enough needed, even if we had 12 months without any rain,” Mr Shanks said.
Mr Shanks said that 19 full-time equivalent jobs would be created by the scheme.
Planning Officer Ian Aikman told the committee that the council’s environmental health officer advised that the rainwater “should be sufficient, but failing that there is sufficient water to be taken from the borehole”.