UK soft fruit :
65% covered
with tunnels
The Grower Code of Practice

Herefordshire council, in conjunction with growers who use multi-by tunnels has drawn up a Voluntary Code of Practice. The voluntary code sets out clear guidelines that growers should follow to control the siting of polytunnels.

Increase yields
30 to 35% improved class one yield

Growers success story
Produce earlier and later crops

Polythene reduces glare
Massively reduce the reflective glare

Government's viewpont
The proposal for a local code of practice on the use of polytunnels seems sensible and could, potentially, be a helpful initiative.
Customer viewpoint
We as consumers can have better British soft fruit for longer than ever before. We now can enjoy the pleasure of eating British berries for approx 26 weeks, as opposed to only 5-6 weeks of season, which was the conventional period of cropping 20 years ago.
The code also includes a checklist that should be completed by the grower 3 months prior to the intended day of tunnel erection. This checklist ensures the local authority is notified and also confirms that the grower has notified neighbours and the local parish council. Click here to get a copy of the polytunnel checklist.

The Voluntary Code of Practice

Stage 1
Growers are requested to complete the polytunnel checklist at least 3 months prior to the intended day of erection. The information provided by growers will be assessed by officers to determine if planning permission is required. Where it is evident the grower’s intention is that land should be covered by polytunnel for 6 months or more, or the growers indicates that the crop is not to be grown in the soil but in some other way, then it is likely the Planning Authority will request an application for planning permission to be submitted.

Stage 2
Where it is determined, on the information provided by the grower, that planning permission is not required; the grower is requested to confirm compliance with the code by:

  • Ensuring polytunnels are sited a minimum distance of 30m from any dwelling not associated with agriculture,
  • Within designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, providing landscape impact assessment of their proposal and where appropriate mitigation measures,
  • Giving notice to the Parish Council and adjacent neighbours,
  • Undertaking to avoid operating prior to 7.00 a.m. or after 8.00 p.m. close to residents. This includes traffic movement or other agricultural activity likely to cause disturbance and/or nuisance,
  • Including a method statement for the control of surface water to prevent overflow onto local road systems or into a local watercourse,
  • Indicating their intended method of disposal of waste polythene.

Herefordshire Council established the above code

Address details:

Planning Services
P.O. Box 230
Blueschool House,
Blueschool Street

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