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Villages voice concerns over plans by Duchess of Rutland in Vale of Belvoir

Villagers are voicing their concerns over a proposal by the Duchess of Rutland to remove 300 metres of hedgerow and retain a liquid fertiliser silo near the Grantham Canal.

People in Barkestone-le-Vale say they are worried that the silo, off Old Granby Lane, could be “potentially damaging to the environment should a spill
occur”. A retrospective application for the silo has been submitted.

Silo objector Neil Thurlby said: “The Vale of Belvoir has been identified as being possibly designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty and it is disheartening to this potential status to see such an application. I understand the need for such structures but have misgivings as to the siting of these particular ones.”

Liquid fertiliser silo near Grantham Canal at Barkestone. (13662745)
Liquid fertiliser silo near Grantham Canal at Barkestone. (13662745)

Objector Harriet Tiplady said: “The placement of the silo has been taken without any consideration for the local village and other people enjoying the local countryside. It significantly distracts from the village church. It is also a risk for future wildlife should any chemical leak occur, given its close proximity to the canal.”

Agents for the Duchess, Planit-X, said in an application letter: “Advice from the suppliers at the time of the installation was that due to the temporary nature of the structures, planning permission was not required.”

The proposal to remove the hedgerows has also been vigorously opposed.

Ward councillor Dr Chris Evans said: “For too many years we have put economic gain before the environment, and I in no way blame the farming community for following government pressure to produce more goods cheaper.

“But we have to now stop before it is too late, and this long established hedgerow close to a site of special scientific interest must be protected.”

In applying for the removalof the hedgerows in fields next to Jericho Lane, the Duchess said in her application: “The fields are too small for modern farm machinery.

“In removing the hedgerows the fields can be farmed more efficiently.”

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