Mushroom farm growth plans not to the taste of villagers
PUBLISHED: 15:34 06 July 2019 | UPDATED: 15:34 06 July 2019
Plans to increase the size of a mushroom farm in a Norfolk village have been met with opposition over fears it will increase traffic and noise.
Tas Valley Mushrooms wants expand production by building seven additional plastic covered growing tunnels at its site at Flordon, near Long Stratton.
The company began as a small mushroom farm established in 1968. It is now produces 30 tonnes of mushrooms every week that are handpicked before being transported to the Waveney Mushrooms packing operation at Swainsthorpe for distribution to wholesalers and supermarkets.
It was granted planning permission for an expansion in 2014 and its latest plans would add seven 45m long, 13m wide and 5.7m tall buildings for growing mushrooms.
The plans have attracted objections from local residents over fears it would increase traffic in the small village, including heavy good vehicles coming to and from the site, as well as increased noise to neighbouring residents from cooling fans.
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Flordon Parish Council has called for the plans to be refused. If given the go-head it has called for conditions including diverting traffic away from the village and for limits on the hours of operation.
In its submission to South Norfolk Council it states: "The mushroom production in Flordon consists of paving over agricultural land and growing mushrooms in imported manufactured compost.
"As an industrial process it involves heavy, noisy machinery including forklift trucks, trolleys and cooling fans, and numerous vehicle movements, including HGVs. The impacts and potential impacts of this type of operation in a rural setting are significant; and they have increased and will continue to increase in direct proportion to the rate of expansion.
"The new proposal will add in excess of 40,000sq ft of factory space, effectively doubling production. It is obvious that this will increase impacts and risks."
In its plans Tas Valley Mushrooms says extra lorry journeys will be kept to a minimum as the new building will led to scaling back operations in an older part of the site.
It adds: "The development will enable a more efficient operation and higher crop yields, allowing the business to meet the existing and anticipated demand for a high quality, competitively priced product. As a direct result of the proposal, the creation of 12 additional jobs is anticipated."