Two-month weather delay fails to make a dent in Dutch greenhouse schedule
- Credit: Archant
It’s faced a muddy two-month weather delay and a potential minefield around the coronavirus crisis – but a giant tomato glasshouse project looks set to come in ahead of schedule in December 2020 or early January.
Around 250 workers from greenhouse maker the Bom Group – based in the Hook of Holland – have been busy working on a £120m Suffolk and a Norfolk glasshouse scheme with both being built at the same time.
Despite the potential of enormous logistical problems in getting their Dutch, Polish and Hungarian workers – living in hotels near the sites at Farm Place, Ingham, near Bury St Edmunds (13ha) and at Crown point, near Norwich, (16ha) across the border during lockdown, the project has run remarkably smoothly, said senior sales boss Martin van Zeijl. The only real hitch was a two-month delay in November and December when rain turned the sites into boggy mires.
MORE – ‘World-first’ tomato greenhouses nearing completionThe glasshouses are designed to grow crops such as tomatoes, sweet peppers and courgettes and are set to produce about a tenth of the UK homegrown tomato crop. At the moment, the UK imports about 85% of such vegetables said Mr van Zeijl, but the two buildings – plus others planned by Bom for Bedford and Wrexham – should make a dent in that.
“We are proud of the project,” he said. “Despite the Covid we are still ahead of schedule. We had the worst winter in the last 50 years.”
Building work is now almost complete, with services nearly all in.
“Now we are welding the heating pipes underground,” he said. “We are working extremely hard.”
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