Valley Grown Nurseries has official opened its latest block of glass following its lengthy legal battle with local planning authorities.
Unveiling the first 9.7 ha of new glass at Nazeing near Harlow, business co-owner of the company Jimmy Russo slammed the behaviour of Lee Valley Regional Park but thanked both the NFU and Lea Valley Growers Association (LVGA) for their support during the process. “This project has no downside,” he claimed, adding: “Hopefully this has set a precedent for all growers regarding planning.”
NFU President Meurig Raymond was one of the guests at the opening and said, “Self-sufficiency in the horticultural industry has fallen for a number of years. We now import four out of every five tomatoes eaten in this country, at a time when the public is actively seeking to buy quality British produce.
“There is tremendous scope to grow more salad crops to meet public demand, but modern agriculture and horticulture require investment in modern buildings and modern facilities. That’s why this new development is so welcome. I’m delighted that the NFU supported Valley Grown Nurseries through the planning process and I hope we will see more schemes like this in the future.”
Lee Stiles, of LVGA added, “We have a great opportunity to grow more local food, reduce food imports and create local jobs through glasshouse expansion in the Lea Valley.”