Page last updated at 15:36 GMT, Thursday, 3 June 2010 16:36 UK

Polytunnel plans near Faversham given go-ahead

Polytunnels
The polytunnels will cover 45 acres at the fruit farm

Polytunnels covering 45 acres are to be put up at a fruit farm in Kent.

Plans for the tunnels at Hernhill Nurseries near Faversham were originally refused by Swale Borough Council but were passed on appeal.

It means the farm can double its strawberry production to about 3,000 tonnes a year.

Some residents opposed the scheme but owners S&A Group said it would create jobs and reduce the amount of fruit being imported into the UK.

Trevor Gregory, the group's finance director, said they currently had 19 full-time workers and a large number of seasonal workers.

He added: "We will be able to produce strawberries for a significant proportion of the year which will allow us to replace quite a number of those seasonal workers, which can number up to 450 at the peak, and to provide for local people full-time jobs all the year round."

The polytunnels are estimated to cost about £1m.

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SEE ALSO
Polytunnels allowed at fruit farm
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