Giant mushroom farm set to go ahead after decision to refuse it is overturned

Giant mushroom farm set to go ahead after decision to refuse it is overturned

by Henry James (November 2021)

A GIANT mushroom farm looks set to be built in Scarisbrick after a decision by the borough council to reject the proposal was overturned by the government’s Planning Inspectorate.

West Lancashire Borough Council rejected an application last year to construct a mushroom farm at Smithy Mushrooms Limited (SML).

The development is proposed for land to the back of Bungalow Farm on Heatons Bridge Road and the building would span to around 17,561 square metres and would be around 26 feet high.

The original planning application in 2019 stated the proposal will provide 70 local jobs.

The plans were opposed by local residents and Scarisbrick Parish Council who stated the development was “inappropriate in the Green Belt because of its size.”

Council planners also stated that its scale “would result in significant visual harm in the landscape.”

However, the Planning Inspectorate took a different view and Inspector W Johnson wrote: “Given the overall appearance of the proposed development and its height, I do not consider that the proposed development would have a detrimental effect on users of Heatons Bridge Road or the canal footpath.

“Although, local residents may experience changes to their views, this would not be detrimental to their living conditions.”

Mr Johnson added: “The proposed development would involve a loss of greenfield land but in considering the environmental role, this is balanced against its intended agricultural use and appearance.

“There would be very significant benefits to the economic and social roles through the construction of the proposed development, the support of the existing local business and the generation of a notable number of job opportunities, available to those in the local community.”

He concluded: “I conclude therefore that these are material considerations which mean that in this case the proposed development can be determined other than in accordance with the development plan. I therefore conclude that the proposed development is suitable for the site.”

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