Fargro secures planning permission to build storage and office facility

Planning is on the agenda again this month after horticulture supplier Fargro won permission for a 6,400sq m storage and office facility at land south of The Vinery near Poling in West Sussex.

Managing director Jim McAlpine said: "This now allows us to relocate locally one mile away and retain our staff. Arun District Council wanted to keep jobs in the area. It was a unanimous decision by them and we will move in early-to-mid 2015."

McAlpine said the bespoke building will house all supplies under cover and allow more efficient logistics. The current Lyminster site will be redeveloped. "People are looking desperately for more glass for edibles," he added.

West Sussex Growers Association (WSGA) chairman Graham Bryant said Fargro's success, supported by the WSGA, is a positive sign.

"The big issue is planning and we're chipping away and pushing the profile. Arun and Chichester are the two planning areas and we have good dialogue going between the interested parties. People are looking to expand across all protected crops and they would expand if they had the land available."

Lea Valley Growers chairman Gary Taylor and secretary Lee Stiles will speak on planning at the WSGA's annual dinner on 29 November.

There have been recent failed planning applications for Madestein in West Sussex, Crosby's in Cheshire and Valley Grown in Lea Valley. The WSGA recently raised concerns about Chichester District Council's draft commercial plan driving out growers (HW, 13 September).

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