Kent vertical farm will get the inexperienced mild for enlargement plans which is able to see salad manufacturing quadruple

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A pioneering vertical farm that accomplished its topping-out ceremony slightly below a yr in the past has been granted planning permission by Dover District Council to increase.

GrowUp Farms’ Pepperness web site at Discovery Park close to Sandwich has been given the inexperienced mild to push forward with enlargement plans that can elevate the peak of the present farm to 24.87 metres from 18.9 metres to accommodate extra rising chambers, which is able to assist the farm to extend its output by 40%.

There will even be a brand new chiller constructing with loading bays, a brand new plant constructing, parking areas for 30 automobiles and three HGV autos and provision of 27 floor degree cooler items.

Speaking about getting the go-ahead for the extension, Tom Ehrman, Engineering Director at GrowUp Farms, mentioned: “I’m delighted to report that planning consent has been granted for the extension of our Pepperness farm. This permits us to quadruple farm output whereas doubling the variety of full-time farm staff from 30 to 60. I want to thank everybody concerned within the course of, notably Dover District Council for his or her ongoing assist.”

GrowUp Farms was the primary vertical farm within the UK to launch a branded salad into a significant grocery store group with the launch of Recent Leaf Co. into Iceland shops throughout the UK earlier this yr.

The planning consent is the icing on the cake for GrowUp Farms, which celebrates 10 years in enterprise this week – simply days after co-founder Kate Hofman was a visitor at 10 Downing Avenue for the Farm to Meals summit as an business knowledgeable.

Up to now 10 years, the pioneering founders, Kate and Tom Webster, have taken the idea of vertical farming from a small unit in London utilizing aquaponic strategies, to the large vertical farm, Pepperness, following a £100 million funding final yr.

Kate mentioned: “It’s been a busy 10 months since we launched GrowUp Farms at Discovery Park with the GrowUp Farms crew working around the clock to assist us obtain our aim of being the primary vertical farm to launch a branded salad into a significant grocery store chain.

“Getting the inexperienced mild from the planning division at Dover District Council means we are able to actually begin to ramp up manufacturing at Pepperness, supplying extra Recent Leaf Co. to Iceland shops across the nation in addition to launching a brand new salad model later this yr.

“Our R&D crew are working onerous to resolve a few of the challenges that can permit us to develop different crops akin to figuring out heritage seed varieties that may’t be grown conventionally and enhancing the expansion cycle of sure vegetation.

“Vertical farming may be very a lot a long-term resolution to the issues we now have seen not too long ago attributable to local weather change and points with provide chains, which have led to a scarcity of salad greens in supermarkets for recent produce.

“The UK depends on importing 67% of the salad we eat every year, and over 90% within the winter. Our farm at Pepperness goes to play a key function, alongside conventional farming, in serving to the UK finish its over-reliance on imports, and getting this planning permission goes to go a great distance in serving to us to attain that aim.

“Discovery Park is the proper location for our farm, and we’re thrilled to have the ability to be a part of the actually supportive enterprise neighborhood there in addition to being an employer of native individuals.”

Supply: GrowUp Farms