Adelaide Plains ratepayers, farmers say proposed 50-acre greenhouse is in wrong spot

Adelaide Plains ratepayers will take a greenhouse dispute to the Environment, Resources and Development (ERD) Court.

Swiss company Agrisano is proposing to build a 50-acre horticultural greenhouse on what is currently agricultural land near Mallala.

However, some local farmers and the Adelaide Plains Ratepayers and Residents Association (RRA) have raised concerns over building the greenhouse on prime agricultural land and the level of public consultation.

Mallala farmer Rob Saint lived near the proposed site and said he was worried that the project would be a waste of good agricultural land and did not want it near him.

“The adjacent farmers are fifth-generation farmers and essentially, they don’t want a massive 50-acre development within a stone’s throw of their residential property and their farming land itself.”

Mallala farmer Rob Saint is worried that a proposed greenhouse is too close to neighbouring properties.(Supplied: Paula Saint)

‘The wrong spot’

Mr Saint said that locals were not against development, “but it’s just in the wrong spot”.

“You don’t need hydroponics on good farming land,” he said.

“There’s a there’s a neighbour who’s 200 metres away from it, so this 50 acres of greenhouse is going to be 200 metres away from them, which they didn’t get much say in … there’s another neighbour across the cross the road, they’re going to be 20 yards away from the greenhouses.

The ERD Court deals with disputes over land use, natural resources and the environment.

Tractors plow a field.
The Adelaide Ratepayers and Residents Association says there hasn’t been enough community consultation about a proposed greenhouse.(Supplied: Paula Saint)

Project goes to court

The RRA plans to argue that there has not been enough community consultation for the project and wants the court to force to consult the community more widely.

This push by the Adelaide RRA is not the first time this project has gone to the court.

Agrisano, the company behind the greenhouse, launched an appeal in the ERD court against a decision by the council to deny an earlier development application for the greenhouse.

The council’s reasons to deny that development application included them not having a “formed an all-weather road” and concerns about the potential impacts on day-to-day operations of adjoining land.

Bales of hay piled up across a field.
Across the state farmers are cutting hay for the domestic market and export at the moment.(Supplied: Paula Saint)

However in July, Agrisano submitted a compromise development application which included more landscaping of the site.

The council accepted this development application in September pending more planning documents.

The council declined a request for an interview.

The matter goes before the Environment, Resources and Development Court on November 9.

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