THE Church Commissioners of England is to lock horns with the district council in a bid to allow workers to protect crops round-the-clock in Merston.
A planning hearing is to be held by a planning inspector on February 22, to decide whether agricultural workers can occupy 9 Groves Farm Cottages.
The hearing will be held at 10am at Chichester District Council’s office at East Pallant.
The Commissioners want to transfer an agricultural occupancy condition currently at 2 Cowdray Cottages, Sidlesham Lane, Birdham to 9 Groves Farm Cottages.
The church body argues the occupancy has outlived its usefulness in Birdham, and should be transferred several miles away to Groves Farm Cottages, to allow today’s workers to tend to the crops there.
It also said workers were needed 24 hours at Groves Farm Cottages to ensure crops were not damaged by variances in the weather and to maintain the irrigation system.