Gloucestershire Campaign to Protect Rural England

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Redmarley saved from further polytunnel blight

Friday, 13 March 2015 19:58

13 March 2015

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) Gloucestershire branch has welcomed the planning inspector’s dismissal of an appeal against the Forest of Dean District Council’s refusal of planning permission to install 20 hectares of polytunnels at Redmarley.

The appeal was lodged by Cobrey Farms of Redhill Farm, Redmarley, which wanted to grow vegetables. CPRE’s Forest of Dean District Chairman, Mike Mackey, welcomed the Inspector’s decision. He said: “Polytunnels play a significant role in horticultural production and the countryside is a workplace for farmers. CPRE doesn’t oppose polytunnels in principle, as we understand that agricultural practices are dynamic, responding to changes in economics and technology. However, those factors need to be considered against damage to the landscape and its enjoyment by a wider public. In this particular case, the applicant already has an extensive area under polytunnels and the proposal would have created a severe cumulative effect within an attractive rolling landscape.”

The issue of farm-scale polytunnel use first came to widespread public attention in November 2002 following a report on the BBC’s Countryfile with respect to polytunnel development in Herefordshire.

CPRE has consistently taken the view that scale and location should be the main considerations when polytunnels are proposed on farmland, and in particular on nationally and locally designated landscapes, such as those of AONBs (designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty).

 

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