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Protect Penshurst campaigners concerned with development of polytunnels

By Ellis Stephenson

A campaign group, made up of residents from Penshurst, is hoping planning permission will not be given to farmers to put up more polytunnels.

Protect Penshurst, which was set up more than a year ago, says further development of the tunnels could disturb the area of outstanding natural beauty.

The campaigners say the planning permission has only been temporary until now and if that is extended it could create problems for water flow in the area, as the development is on a hill.

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WATCH: KMTV's Cameron Tucker reports as the polytunnel row goes on

But the farmer who is calling for permission to be granted has said the equipment is essential to his business.

Previously we've reported on how one farm could lose hundreds of thousands of pounds without the protective kit.

Clock House Farm said it is poised to lose hundreds of thousands of pounds if it is unable to gain planning permission to continue using polytunnels to protect its raspberry and blackberry crops.

Polytunnels like the ones used on Salmans Farm. Picture: Val Vannet
Polytunnels like the ones used on Salmans Farm. Picture: Val Vannet

Bosses invested £574,000 in improving irrigation and other works when it took over Salmans Farm near Penshurst in 2013.

The Coxheath-based business may have to write off the cash – and £100,000 of plant material on the farm – if the opposition groups succeed in their campaign against it being given permanent permission to grow its fruit using polytunnels.

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