David Austin Roses scraps state-of -the-art breeding facility plan after public outcry

A world leading rose breeder from Shropshire has withdrawn an application to build a large greenhouse and outbuildings on green belt land following an outcry from the community.

David Austin Roses had planned to construct a 109.7m x 96m glasshouse, along with two sheds, to form a breeding facility on land to the west of Badger Lane – between Badger and Beckbury, about 3.5 miles from its base in Albrighton.

The company had hoped the new "state-of-the-art" facility could replace its older structures, which it called "very cramped and in need of replacement", in order to remain at the global forefront of rose breeding.

But following objections lodged by dozens of residents and Beckbury Parish Council, David Austin Roses formerly withdrew the application.

David JC Austin, son of founder David Austin Senior, said: "The planning application for Beckbury has been withdrawn and we would like to reassure the local community that, as a company, we are continually trying to reduce our environmental impact and tread more lightly on the planet.

"Our love for nature is at the heart of what we do and the desire to create a centre of excellence to support interest in horticultural expertise and provide local jobs stems from our passion for the natural world."

Concerns raised by the local community related to the loss of green belt land, access to the area via "unsuitable" country lanes, a lack of additional employment opportunities for local people and the impact the development would have on wildlife and the greater environment.

Joy

Mr Austin added: "Ultimately, we breed our roses to bring joy to people and we will continue to try to achieve this in all areas of the business with as little negative impact on the environment and local communities as possible."

David Austin Roses purchased the swathe of land in late 2020 after several years of searching.

It said there were three primary reasons the location was suitable for the new facility.

A design and access statement submitted with the planning application said: "There is insufficient additional land at the existing Albrighton site to accommodate it.

"It is bad practice for a breeding facility to be located within the production facility, due to potential cross-contamination and introduction of pests and diseases. The new location is isolated from such.

"It is in close proximity to the existing site and therefore allows existing staff to get to work easily and also allows for easy movement between the two sites."

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