UNANIMOUS approval has been given to the expansion of the Woodend Nursery in Over Peover.

Cheshire East councillors gave the go-ahead to the scheme, which will see a new glasshouse, heat storage tank, and lagoon being built on Stocks Lane to grow tomatoes.

Approval came despite development taking place in the green belt, as council policy allows for agricultural development, which exempted the glasshouse itself, and it was argued that the lagoon and storage tank were required for its smooth operation.

“I am fully supportive,” commented Knutsford councillor Stewart Gardiner.

“It is the irony of the planning system that though the glasshouses are allowed in the green belt, the accompaniments are considered not.”

Cllr Patrick Redstone, representing the Odd Rode ward, also praised the bid: “I like this development. It is sustainable.

“We are just going into Brexit so getting our tomatoes locally is better than Holland. I like the idea that it is using heat from the plants and water from the roof run-off to heat and water the plants.”

Developer F Rudd and Sons outlined in its application that carbon dioxide produced by the plants will be harvested by the glasshouse, and stored in the tank to heat the structure when the sun isn’t shining.

Rain run-off will also be channelled into the lagoon for irrigation purposes.

Currently, the site already houses one existing glasshouse to grow tomatoes, with the proposed addition sitting adjacent to it and Radbroke Hall, which is occupied by Barclay’s bank.