Manhood Peninsula glasshouse plan 'threatens tourism'

Image caption The area being considered for the glasshouses is about the size of 45 football pitches

Tourism will suffer if plans for more than 50 acres of glasshouses on Manhood Peninsula go ahead, residents in West Sussex fear.

Chichester District Council initially rejected proposals from Madestein UK Ltd for the development on Easton Farm in Almodington.

However, a public inquiry is under way after the firm appealed against the decision.

Madestein has said the glasshouses will secure the business for 10 years.

'Wrong place'

But, residents said tourism was equally as important as horticulture on the peninsular.

Andries de Vaal, chairman of the Almodington Association, he said: "It's not an issue about us being against glasshouses, its just that it is in the wrong place - this Easton farm."

"The tourism industry will suffer as a result of the operation of these 52 acres of glasshouses.

"People come to the Manhood Peninsula specifically for the tranquillity and the rural aspects as well as the beaches, the harbour and the sailing.

"Such vast tracts of glasshouses, accompanied by huge movements of heavy goods vehicles on a daily basis for 365 days of the year, is going to change that whole feeling of tranquillity and the image of rural calm that exists on the peninsula at the moment."

In a previous statement, Madestein said it needed to build the glasshouses to secure its business.

The company decline to comment during the inquiry, which is expected to last for another week.

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