Blakenham: £30million greenhouses project backed by Mid Suffolk councillors
17:48 21 May 2014
Proposals to build two large greenhouses as part of a £30million project were given conditional approval this afternoon, despite neighbours’ concerns.
The plan put forward by SITA UK and Sterling Suffolk on land between Great Blakenham and Bramford was given unanimous backing by Mid Suffolk District councillors.
Cliff Matthews is SITA’s regional manager for the nearby energy-from-waste incinerator which will provide the greenhouses heat. He said the project would provide 246 jobs and enhance Suffolk’s “strong reputation” for quality food.
But residents at the meeting complained the greenhouses, which will grow tomatoes, would cause unacceptable glaring light to affect their views. There were also concerns over flooding, an increase in traffic and the visual impact.
Derrick Haley, leader of Mid Suffolk, proposed approval for the project which will cover an area of some 111 acres off the B1113.
He said: “I think this application is very much welcome, it provides jobs and growth that we need but I do also understand the concerns that councillor John Field talked about. It’s not just about our area, we have to look at the wider economic benefit for everybody.”
Diane Hubert, a resident of one of the nearby Lower Dairy Farm Cottages, spoke out against the proposal.
She said: “If this project goes ahead we will be most affected – the greenhouses will be less than 30 metres from our homes. Between us and the greenhouses there is nothing, they will have an enormous effect on our lives.
“There are serious concerns about flooding from the water collected off the greenhouses roofs.”
The proposals were approved subject to archaeological surveys and tests to assess the flood risk are undertaken successfully within six months.
The landowners of the sites are Mid Suffolk District councillors Lord Michael Blakenham and Stephen Wright.