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Medicinal mushroom growers refused permission for farm in shipping containers

Plans to grow medicinal mushrooms in old shipping containers have been rejected.

South Cambridgeshire District Council raised concerns about the impact of the shipping containers on the open countryside.

A shipping container proposed for Elsworth medicinal mushroom farm (Davison and Co)
A shipping container proposed for Elsworth medicinal mushroom farm (Davison and Co)

An application, submitted by Davison and Co, had proposed to grow the mushrooms in two containers at The Avenue Business Park in Elsworth.

A modular workshop was also proposed to service the mushroom farm.

A report published by the council said the mushrooms were planned to be sold at the artisan marketplace and food hub that was given permission to set up at the business park earlier this year.

However, planning officers raised concerns about the “adverse impact” the shipping containers and workshop building would have on the open countryside.

The report said: “The proposal would be sited in an agricultural field that is currently open and free from built form.

“It is located to the south west of the Avenue Business Park, and therefore from Brockley Road would be viewed within this backdrop, however, the land sits higher in this location and the proposal would read as a separate aspect beyond the edge of the village which is not supported unless appropriate in terms of a countryside setting.

“In this case, the layout of the containers had not been well-considered, they extend to be substantial in their overall footprint with a maximum length and breadth of 40 metres.

“It is considered that a more simple and compact form, that would echo a simple agricultural structure would be a better approach.

“Whilst the appearance of the structure is not totally clear from the information submitted, it appears that it would be finished in wood cladding and felt which appears reasonable given the surrounding context.”

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