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UK: Fresh row ignites over controversial mushroom farm as council asked to decide new plans

A row over a controversial mushroom farm which was approved against neighbors' wishes will be reignited when the matter returns before West Lancashire's planning committee.

Last year, the government overturned a decision to refuse permission to build an indoor mushroom farm on farmland in Scarisbrick, West Lancashire. The site, between Southport and Ormskirk, contains the highest quality Grade 1 agricultural land, and residents had raised objections over issues including the size of the 17,561 m2 building, which will house a purpose-built growing and incubation room, office, laboratory, plant room, cold store, packing area, and boiler room.

Other concerns related to what they considered to be inappropriate Green Belt development and fears for traffic safety, with increased numbers of HGVs using the road. West Lancs' planning committee rejected the application, only for the decision to be overturned by the government on appeal.

Now, applicant Smithy Mushrooms wants to modify its plans to replace some planned portal-framed buildings with polytunnels. The firm also wants to keep in place a temporary access road it has built without permission, but faces fresh opposition from locals.

The business is involved with the growth and production of exotic "oyster" mushrooms and previously said it needed to expand its premises to remain competitive in a rapidly growing market. Smithy Mushrooms says demand has tripled in the previous three years, driven by the increase in people following plant-based diets. 

Read the entire article at LancsLive

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