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Medicinal-cannabis farm gets planning permission

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PLANS have been approved for the development of what could become Jersey’s first medicinal cannabis farm and research centre.

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The Planning Committee has approved the proposal to replace two agricultural sheds at La Pepiniere Farm in St Mary, near Crabbé, with a large shed with hydroponic and condensing facilities.

Under the plans, there would be four growing areas in the barn as well as a trimming, grading and packaging centre, together with offices, a storage area and a breeding/nursery room. The new barn would be soundproofed to counteract the noise caused by climate-control machinery, and closed to the public.

Marc Yates, chief executive of the Jersey-based Therapeutic Cannabinoids International Partnership, which submitted the plans, said work would now begin on the detailed design work.

‘It is one stage closer, we have still got lots more things to do,’ he said. ‘But having got the planning the intention is to move forward as quickly as we can. This decision enables us to start doing some of the detailed design work and we hope to start work as soon as we possibly can.’

He added that measures to address any noise and odour concerns would be part of the plans for the site, which is a disused dairy farm. Previous plans for the site have included housing, which were rejected, and new dog kennels for the JSPCA – an application which caused controversy among some nearby residents and was later withdrawn.

The application for a medicinal-cannabis farm – the first of its kind for Jersey – follows the news earlier this year that the States were to begin issuing licences to grow the drug for medical purposes in the hope of raising hundreds of millions of pounds in export revenues and re-invigorating the agricultural industry.

In assessing the application, the committee was told there had been 13 letters of representation which raised concerns about everything from the scale of the development, noise and odours, potential traffic, pollution and security.

The applicant responded and said the proposal was compliant with policy and the scale was comparable to the existing situation. He added that noise, odour and waste assessments had been prepared and strategies set out, and a transport review had confirmed that the traffic impact would be very low.

A number of conditions were placed on the approval, including that renewable energy forms part of the final design.

Lucy Stephenson

By Lucy Stephenson
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