Planning Committee due to consider glasshouse plans at former Tamba Park site

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PLANS to replace a fire-damaged glasshouse on the former Tamba Park site – now used to grow medicinal cannabis – are due to go before the Planning Committee on Wednesday.

The scheme, put forward by Northern Leaf, has attracted significant attention from the public, with 36 comments having been submitted. A total of 11 spoke against the scheme with concerns including the potential impact on neighbours, smell, noise and an alleged lack of information accompanying the plans.

However, 25 comments were lodged in support of the plans, with some claiming that the scheme, put forward by a local business, could help provide a boost to the agriculture industry and, in turn, diversify the economy.

The property has suffered a number of fires over the years.

The first occurred in April 2017 while welding work was being carried out on a mechanical dinosaur. Another happened the following August.

The next blaze, thought to have been caused by a discarded cigarette, broke out in September 2019.

There was also a fire on the road adjacent to the park in July, when a large commercial vehicle caught light.

Planning officers have recommended the plans for approval.

Within a report outlining their findings, it says: ‘In this case, the existing glasshouse has an agricultural use and the proposed use is agricultural for the growing of medicinal cannabis, which are both employment uses.

‘The proposal involves the demolition of the existing glasshouse and its replacement for agricultural use.

‘It is considered that the proposal is in accordance with … policy NE7 [the green zone policy], as the proposal does not create undue noise, disturbance or a significant increase in travel and trip generation and would not cause unreasonable harm to neighbouring properties.

‘The proposal … gives rise to demonstratable environmental gains, including replacing the poor-quality glasshouse with a modern purpose glasshouse to meet current environmental standards… contributing to the repair and restoration of landscape character.’

Two other planning applications – one for the installation of an electricity substation and another for the instatement of a plant room, water tank and the replacement of two flues – are also due to be heard.

The Planning Committee meeting is due to begin at 1pm at St Paul’s Centre. Members of the public are allowed to attend.

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