New glasshouse at nurseries

In response to a report in the County Times on July 26 of a Horsham District Council planning comittee meeting which considered proposals for Old Barn Nurseries at Dial Post, the applicants have sent in the following response.

As previously reported in the West Sussex County Times, a planning application has been approved by a Horsham District Council planning committee for a new horticultural glasshouse at Old Barn Nurseries at Dial Post.

The proposal is a great success story at a time when bad news seems to dominate. It’s good for a British business and local Sussex jobs. It will result in the creation of new jobs, with more seasonally, once the new glasshouse is fully operational. Horsham Planning Committee Councillors positively acknowledged the need to support successful rural businesses.

The proposed glasshouse will enable the nursery to grow more climate sensitive shrubs and will significantly reduce the level of imports from overseas. The proposal to cover an open horticultural growing area, was recommended for approval by Horsham council planning officers.

Since taking on the site in 2007, the owners have made a number of improvements to the horticultural nurseries, allowing them to grow more of the plants that they sell, rather than having to import them from other nurseries in the UK and overseas. All of these proposals have been supported by the council.

The nursery is currently used to grow deciduous shrubs such as Dogwoods and Dwarf Cherries together with herbaceous perennials such as Geraniums.

Evergreen shrubs like Viburnum and Phormium will be produced in the new glasshouse. The photograph here shows just how well fits into the local scene and adds to the beauty of the countryside in this area.

Speaking in support of the application, the nursery’s agent set out the strong planning merits in favour, found in the officer’s report.

The council’s agricultural consultant confirmed that the glasshouse is required in connection with the horticultural nursery.

The area is already used for growing plants. The glasshouse will allow different plants to be grown, as opposed to more. This type of diversification of an established, rural horticultural business is firmly supported by local and national planning policy.

The site is and will remain a nursery. It will be used for the growing of plants, many of which will be sold through the adjoining garden centre, reducing the need for and frequency of, deliveries of stock to replenish the nursery.

The proposal will not result in any significant increase in traffic. Nor will it affect road safety. The county highways engineers supported the proposal and are satisfied that the development will not result in a significant increase in traffic to and from the nursery and the planning committee rejected unfounded complaints that it may be likely to.

The applicants have gone to great lengths, in consultation with the council, to improve a historical flooding situation they inherited with the site. The glasshouse will further improve drainage as surface water will be collected and released in a controlled manner to water plants. This will benefit the area.

Nor will the glasshouse adversely affect visual amenities. The proposal will not harm the character or setting of a listed building which it will continue to be separated from by other buildings and has been for many years.

None of these matters raised any concerns with the planning committee, which has delegated its officers to grant permission.

Having recently met again with officers and the local councillor, the applicants are now hopeful that planning permission will be issued shortly, so that the development, with all its positive jobs and economic benefits can take place before next year’s growing season.

MICHAEL ESPOSITO

Old Barn Nurseries, The Garden Centre Group, Worthing Road, Dial Post