Vitacress Salads Ltd is a leading supplier of baby leaf and other salad products to major retailers. Its UK washing and packing operations are located at Lower Link Farm, St Mary Bourne in Hampshire.
Adams Hendry prepared and submitted a planning application to enable improvements to the operations at that site. The works include new intake and dispatch bays, covered storage and a new agricultural and vehicle workshop, together with new lighting and landscaping of the site. The objectives of the proposed scheme were to improve the quality and freshness of the Company’s salad products, to remove inefficiencies and reduce costs of the operation and to deliver environmental benefits including reduced energy usage and CO2 emissions.
The site lies in a sensitive location, within the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and the operations on the site discharge water into the Bourne Rivulet, a tributary of the River Test. An Environmental Statement was required to be submitted as part of the planning application. Adams Hendry acted as planning consultants on the scheme as well as lead consultant for the application and Environmental Statement, working with a number of specialist sub-consultants.
Planning permission for the scheme was granted by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council in October 2010. The consent was challenged in the High Court by an objector, leading to extensive additional work by Adams Hendry, as part of Vitacress’s team defending the decision. The legal challenge was rejected on all grounds in the High Court in April 2013, with an appeal rejected following a hearing at the Court of Appeal in November 2013. An application to appeal further to the Supreme Court was dismissed in April 2014.