Industrial-Scale Mushroom Factory Inappropriate In The Green Belt

“Mushroom farm a blot on the landscape…”far better suited to being built on the Burscough industrial estate…once built a shed of this size could soon be turned into a warehouse…” states consultant.

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Refusal of Smithy Mushrooms Limited 229 Smithy Lane Scarisbrick Ormskirk Lancashire L40 8HL “In respect of application number 2019/0747/FUL received on 19 July 2019 and in pursuance of its powers under the above-mentioned Act and Order, West Lancashire Borough Council as Local Planning Authority, having considered your application, hereby refuses permission for: Construction of a mushroom farm in conjunction with the agricultural business, Smithy Mushrooms Limited, to include portal frame buildings, car parking, hardstanding and sustainable drainage system.

Reason(s) for Refusal 1. The proposed development, by virtue of its bulk and scale would result in significant visual harm in this open, flat landscape, contrary to the Council’s SPD on Natural Areas and Areas of Landscape History Importance, Policies EN2 and GN3 of the West Lancashire Local Plan 2012-27 Development Plan Document and paragraph 127 of the NPPF.

Justification 1. Despite the requirements of Paras 38-46 of the National Planning Policy Framework it has not been possible to reach a positive agreed solution through the Council’s adopted and published procedures. The development proposed shows insufficient regard to the policy requirements as detailed in the reasons above.

Drainage, culverting, flooding, Issues

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“CPRE opposes the proposal for buildings and associated infrastructure including car parking on Grade 1 agricultural land in the low-lying open countryside of Scarisbrick”.

In July 2020 “CPRE, along with the Parish Council and many local residents, feel that a large, industrial-style building would have an unacceptable impact on the openness of the Green Belt in this area, particularly in light of the fact that the low-lying land would mean the buildings would be visible from a wide area. The size of the proposed building is unprecedented within West Lancashire.

“In a similar case, where a smaller extension to a mushroom farm was planned in open countryside in North Yorkshire, the Planning Inspector commented ‘the massive footprint results in a building of enormous bulk… Where an agricultural development gets to a size and scale such as this, its impact can mean that the proposed countryside location is not suitable, having dominant and unacceptable influence on landscape character’.

“The development would lead to an additional 104 HGV movements per day on a road which is in places too narrow for HGVs to fit two abreast. It is a locally important road linking Ormskirk and Southport and already has issues with congestion. The site would also contain a 58-space car park.

“We hope that councillors take into account the cumulative effect of all of the above issues, and reject this proposal”.

They did!

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