One of Britain’s largest soft fruit growers has made a new bid to station 18 static caravans for seasonal workers at a Herefordshire farm.

Last October, Haygrove of Ledbury had a planning application rejected to expand polytunnel production and put in the same number of worker caravans at its Mahollam Road, Huntington site near the Welsh border.

Its new proposal for the farm (numbered 240298) includes a separate facilities trailer with picnic tables outside, sewage treatment plant, new internal access track and landscaping measures. The application is described as “part-retrospective”.


To be painted matt green, the caravans would typically house up to six workers each, giving a maximum seasonal population of 108 at the site.

They are “essential for seasonal fruit pickers that are necessary to pick the fruit crop during the busier summer and autumn period”, the firm’s application says, but adds they would not be occupied the rest of the year.

It explains that while full permission is not required for farm caravans removed at the end of each season, this “is very time-consuming and is not conducive to good-quality accommodation”, hence the need for year-round facilities.


It adds that currently, pickers must be brought by bus from Ledbury each day, which is “hard on the workers”, adding an hour and a half to their working day.

The application contains a caravan site management plan, under which local residents would be able to put any issues to the site manager straight away.

The planning application can be commented on via the Herefordshire Council planning page until March 28.

Haygrove employs up to 1,000 temporary workers each UK growing season, mostly from overseas.