Strawberry producers put Herefordshire under a polytunnel

tliouk office at
Mon Oct 25 14:09:48 BST 2004

Strawberry producers put Herefordshire under a polytunnel
Taken from
Sent out by: Lesley Whiting

Large-scale Strawberry producers in Herefordshire, are exploiting 
planning legislation to erect hundreds of acres of polytunnels 
without planning permission. This practice destroyes the environment, 
local wildlife, and the rural landscape. It also impacts on peoples 
homes, and those who depend on tourism for a living.

The Town and Country Planning Act 1990, includes rules of Permitted 
Development which allow farmer's to develop without having to first 
obtain planning permission if the development is for agricultural 
reasons. Farmer's in Herefordshire are exploiting these rules to 
erect hundreds of acres of polytunnels. The problem is that while 
polytunnels allow supermarkets to supply the well off with 
strawberries at Christmas, the cost to the environment, wildlife, 
tourism, and those who depend on tourism for a living is enormous. 
What many don't know is that in order to erect polytunnels farmer's 
routinely sterilise the soil with chemicals. This means all the 
insects, and earthworms who live below the tunnel are destroyed, and 
the local wildlife that depend on them are also harmed. These 
polytunnels also harm people and tourism. Destruction of the rural 
landscape has blighted peoples homes and undermined the tourism that 
many depend on. The Government refuse to tighten up the rules, 
because of the farming lobby (don't forget the NFU is still one of 
the few trade unions with a statutory right of consultation), and 
Herefordshire Council (which is unsuprisingly made up of farmer's), 
insist on interpreting the rules in favour of the farmer's. 
Farming should be encouraged, but not at such a cost.

 e-mail: Whtngarchitect1 at 


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