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Not so pretty poly ... as residents object

ANXIOUS residents have spoken out over proposals to build a large row of polytunnels in a quiet, rural road.

ANXIOUS residents have spoken out over proposals to build a large row of polytunnels in a quiet, rural road.

Plans for the contentious tunnels were submitted to Solihull Council on August 22, by Hawksemill Nurseries, located off Fen End Road, near Kenilworth.

If the application is approved, polytunnels covering 2,400m² of land will be erected and the site will also house a staff portakabin, irrigation tank, nursery yard and a new concrete access road.

Although Solihull Council said there had not been any written objections so far, when the Solihull News visited Fen End Road on Tuesday, residents were wholeheartedly against the idea of polytunnels being built near their countryside homes.

One resident had not received the letter from the Council outlining the plans.

She did not want to be named for fear of causing problems with the nursery, but said the tunnels would be a "scar on the picturesque landscape."

She said: "I understand why polytunnels may be deemed necessary with the way our climate is going. But nobody really wants one right outside their doorstep as they are quite large and unattractive."

Another resident who didn't want to be named said she was concerned about the proposed location and was worried about flooding, due to the way polytunnels are built.

She said: "The floors inside are non-porous which can cause flooding in nearby surroundings."

The family-run Hawkesmill Nurseries already use polytunnels for their plant nursery and claim more are needed if their business is to grow.

Family member Richard Evans said: "We did not want to upset anyone that's why we carefully considered where the polytunnels would go to minimise impact.

"The tunnels will be far back from the main road and are essential if we are to continue our business successfully."

There was a landmark ruling in 2006 when the High Court decided planning permission was needed before polytunnels could be erected.

And just last month, planning permission to cover 27 acres farmland in the south-east with 8,000 polytunnels was refused. Neighbours, including boxer Barry McGuigan, had opposed the development, claiming it would be an eyesore for the nearby community.

The deadline for public comments is November 21.

* What do you think, are polytunnels necessary and should they be built close to residential properties? Write in to the usual address and let us know.



Cathrina Hulse
Multimedia Journalist
Annette Belcher
Multimedia Journalist
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