Spalding growers apply for glasshouse extensions as business booms

Two nurseries in the same region have applied for planning permission for large-scale extensions to their glasshouse complexes.

Opperman Plants expects to win permission for a £2m extension to its business. The grower plans to build 1.2ha of glass at its site in Spalding to grow houseplants for supermarkets and wholesalers.

"The work will include building a reservoir that can hold three inches of water across three acres," said managing director Mike Opperman. Having a reservoir rather than relying on a dyke would save him a water bill of around £75,000, he added.

The site for expansion was vacant and designated as horticultural land, so Opperman found it "hard to see" how it could fail to win approval.

The family business, run by Opperman and his wife Jenny, produces 5.5 million plants a year on a 5.6ha site with 20,000sq m of glass. He said he expected to the new glasshouse to increase production levels by two-million plants a year and bump up turnover by £2m to £7m.

Lansen Nursery, also in Spalding, has submitted a multi-million pound application to South Holland District Council to extend its glasshouse area and build a reservoir. The wholesale supplier of hardy perennials, bamboos, ornamental grasses and ferns did not comment, but the planning department said a decision was due mid July.


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