A plan to cover 13.5 hectares (33 acres) of a Herefordshire farm in year-round polytunnels for strawberry growing has been dropped after drawing nearly 100 objections.

S&A Produce, which already operates a large area of polytunnels north of Marden village, had proposed putting up a further 117 tunnels of varying lengths grouped in six blocks further to the northeast, along with a new portal-framed agricultural storage building, reservoir and six water storage tanks.

The detailed application was formally submitted last May following a pre-application with Herefordshire Council, as well as an exhibition for locals at Marden Village Hall the previous March.


Herefordshire Council’s landscape officer said the likely visual impact of the development would be “of major concern” despite planned screening measures to the north of the site.

However its ecology officer concluded the development would create a net reduction in field runoff into the river Lugg special area of conservation (SAC), as the proposed table-top growing format would use a closed irrigation system.


There were 92 objections submitted by members of the public, along with 30 submissions supporting the plan.

Marden Parish Council “strongly objected” the bid, giving concerns over public access, drainage, noise, light and effect on biodiversity, landscape and local heritage.

At time of its withdrawal, the application comprised 19 documents, including rebuttals to concerns raised by consultees, and 39 drawings.

S&A has been asked for the reason for the application’s withdrawal, and whether it will be later resubmitted.