Aspbury Planning, proud winners of Development Scheme of the Year
for Witham St Hugh’s, Lincolnshire at the RTPI East Midlands Awards.

“Aspbury Planning bring a refreshingly personal touch to planning and their attention to detail makes them not only a pleasure to work with, but also very effective in securing the right result” - Guy Warner, Warner’s Budgens.

“The work undertaken for us by Aspbury Planning was of a very high standard. The consultancy is very professional and trustworthy” - Chris Doy, Development Control Manager, Bolsover District Council.

“We focus first and foremost on delivering the very best outcome for you - finding out exactly what you want to achieve and doing everything we can to make it happen.”

Aspbury Planning Ltd has carved out a high profile professional niche for itself in dealing with proposals for the erection of ‘Spanish Polytunnels’ over soft fruit crops.

Spanish Polytunnels

Soft fruit growing in the UK: Agricultural Development
 
Building on the knowledge and expertise acquired during our appointment as Panel Planning Consultants for the National Farmers' Union (NFU), Aspbury Planning Ltd has carved out a high profile professional niche for itself in dealing with proposals for the erection of ‘Spanish Polytunnels’ over soft fruit crops.

So-called Spanish Polytunnels (developed, as the name suggests, in Spain) have become indispensable to the UK soft fruit sector - producing mainly strawberries, raspberries and blueberries.

Whilst polytunnels are used primarily to provide protection against rain damage to ripening fruit, they also offer other benefits.  Spanish polytunnels have revolutionised the indigenous soft fruit industry by extending the UK soft fruit season - which now runs May to October - and enhancing the produce, to ensure consistency in both quality and quantity for customers (mainly major supermarkets). This has not only meant that producers have been able to meet the increasing demand for soft fruit from UK consumers, but has also resulted in an almost complete import substitution during the UK season, leading to a significant saving in ‘food miles’.

Like other modern agricultural technologies, farm-scale polytunnels have proved controversial - sometimes attracting strong opposition and criticism.  From the outset, Aspbury Planning Ltd has been heavily involved in resolving the town planning issues raised by polytunnel use and related development, such as the accommodation for seasonal agricultural workers (mainly recruited from overseas) who are required in large numbers to pick and pack the fruit.

We have acted for most of the largest growers in the sector in two of the main growing areas in the UK, Herefordshire and Kent/Surrey, as well as in Staffordshire and Leicestershire.

We are pleased to say that the majority of growers have now secured the requisite planning permissions and are able to operate their businesses with certainty and confidence.

For further details on our soft fruit planning experience or to obtain a no-obligation fee quotation in relation to polytunnels, or any other area of agriculture, please contact Tony Aspbury. 

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