Glass shortage hits growers

Simon Quinton Smith says there is a "huge shortage of glass and it's getting worse" meaning growers cannot expand.

The Quinton Edwards director says: "Planning is so difficult due to nimbys." He adds that some growers are even considering building glass on leasehold land, even though banks are less keen to lend on that basis.

He said it is manly soft fruit and salad growers "all over the country" who want to build, including clients in Spalding and Chichester.

He said the timelag between getting any permissions are building is also getting longer, because Dutch glass companies are busy elsewhere, including on big Russian projects.

In its new strategy document, the West Sussex Growers Association called on local authorities to use Complusory Purchase Orders (CPO) in the Horticultural Development Area (HDA), to compel landowners such as the Church Commissioners to sell land for horticulture glasshouse construction.

Madestein and Eric Wall have plans to expand and Barfoots and Langmeads have permission for high tech glasshouses but Hall says planning restrictions are not getting any more relaxed.

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