VOTE: Plans to build glasshouses in Almodington

A fresh campaign has been launched attacking plans to build 52 acres of glasshouses in Almodington because of itsimpact on the nearby Chichester Harbour Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) said the plans from Madestein UK are just one of many up and down the country involving a ‘damaging and inappropriate’ development, putting the nearby AONB ‘under siege’.

The glasshouses plans for the Easton Farm site off Almodington Lane were withdrawn in 2009 and refused at the beginning of this year by Chichester DC’s southern development control committee.

CPRE Sussex chairman Rodney Chambers said: “We objected on the grounds that it is an intrusion on to the Chichester Harbour AONB to the west and on Pagham Harbour. Shortly there are going to be new saltmarshes created as part of the Medmerry sea defences.

“The glasshouses would be within pretty close distance to all three sites. It is important these natural features are preserved.

“The other grounds we objected on, like everyone else, is the development will create a huge amount of traffic on small roads. The infrastructure won’t be able to take it.”

The turnover at the proposed Easton Farm site would require many HGVs to make double journeys to and from supermarkets in Chichester and far beyond. The site is one-and-a-quarter miles from the AONB boundary, but traffic involved will travel along that boundary, which coincides with the A286.

CPRE believes Madestein will make an appeal against the district council’s refusal of planning permission.

At the appeal, CPRE Sussex will argue the development is a threat to all the surrounding countryside, and also that it would have significant adverse economic impacts on the AONB, particularly regarding local businesses and tourism.

CPRE’s report on the threat facing AONBs comes at a time when the planning system is facing its biggest shake-up for over 60 years. It believes the government is risking an environmental disaster – and many battles with local communities – by putting the economic aims of the planning system ahead of its social and environmental purposes. Madestein said it did not want to comment.

Do you think the plans to build 52 acres of glasshouses in Almodington should be turned down? Cast your vote in the panel to the right of the screen and leave your comments below.