Grower set to close due to HS2

Firtree Nursery in Lower Boddington, Daventry, Northamptonshire, is set to close because it is on the route of the £43bn High Speed 2 rail link between London and Birmingham, where work is set to begin at the start of 2017.


An HS2 representative said: "The nursery is on the planned route and we are currently in negotiations with the owners about purchasing the business."

Firtree were not available to comment.

Meanwhile, HS2 Select Committee chairman Robert Syms MP, has written to the secretary of state for communities and local government Eric Pickles, asking that a set of planning guidelines be agreed to deal with specific rebuilding problems raised by the NFU at its evidence giving session in the House of Commons in November.

The issue is that farmers who have their buildings compulsorily purchased by HS2 could run into difficulties with planning authorities when trying to rebuild replacement farm houses and agricultural buildings on a different part of their land. The NFU says there is "great uncertainty" as to whether planning applications will be approved and there would be long delays if a case goes to appeal. The NFU is concerned that farm businesses will not be able to withstand delays to replacing farm buildings which might be to provide livestock housing, grain and potato storage.

 

In his letter to the Pickles, Syms said: "Local planning policy for this area of green belt means permission to build will be granted only upon demolition of the existing farmhouses, the policy being that there should be no net gain in accommodation.

 

"Applying a planning policy too rigidly ignores the special circumstances arising from construction of the railway: a policy of protecting green belt might sensibly be adjusted to allow for individual buildings to be retained where they remain useful and where the new buildings have been essentially forced on those affected as a way to remain in the area while reducing the impact of the railway. Could a set of guidelines be agreed to deal with such situations?"

 

NFU president Meurig Raymond said:  "Planning for replacement buildings was one of the key issues we raised when we made our presentation to the Select Committee in November. We are encouraged by the Chairman’s letter to the Secretary of State requesting specific planning guidelines. It would clearly be unfair for farmers and their families who are losing their homes to HS2 to struggle with red tape when attempting to rebuild on their own land."


The NFU’s presentation to the HS2 Select Committee in November included the following points about replacement buildings:

 

17. Replacement buildings – planning: the issue

• The construction of the railway will necessitate the

demolition of some residential dwellings, farm buildings,

storage facilities, workshops and industrial units.

• Farm businesses will want to replace dwellings and farm

buildings but to do this full planning applications will have

to be made.

• There is great uncertainty as to whether planning

applications will be approved.

• Long time delays if a case goes to appeal.

• Farm businesses will not be able to withstand delays to

replacing farm buildings which might be to provide

livestock housing, grain and potato storage.

 


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

An effective strategy to retain staff is the best way for any business to avoid a potential recruitment crisis, Neville Stein advises.

GroSouth 2017 update

GroSouth 2017 update

First-time and established exhibitors are preparing to showcase products and services at this year's show in West Sussex, Gavin McEwan reports.

Pest & Disease Factsheet - Vine weevil

Pest & Disease Factsheet - Vine weevil

Avoid costly damage by this serious plant pest.


Opinion... Pepper breeders' wealth of knowledge

Opinion... Pepper breeders' wealth of knowledge

Peter Seabrook looks forward to garden centre pepper-tasting weekends.

Opinion... Shining a light on trading with Europe

Opinion... Shining a light on trading with Europe

Accurate figures are notoriously difficult to get at, but without doubt the UK imports a great deal of its ornamental plant requirement.

Opinion... Unbeatable delight of quality plants

Opinion... Unbeatable delight of quality plants

Viewing top-quality plants, both growing and on sale, always gives me pleasure.


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Tim Edwards

Boningales Nursery chairman Tim Edwards on the business of ornamentals production
 

Read Tim Edwards

Ornamentals ranking

Top 30 Ornamentals Nurseries by Turnover 2017

Top 30 Ornamentals Nurseries by Turnover 2017

Tough retail pricing policies and Brexit opportunities drive the top 30 growth strategies.

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world
 

Read more Peter Seabrook articles