A large Herefordshire ornamental plant grower is planning a major expansion.

Allensmore Nurseries has applied for planning permission to turn four fields near Madley west of Hereford totalling 28.4 hectares (70 acres) into open-air growing beds, together with internal roadways, a 1.2-hectare reservoir plus three irrigation tanks, and “temporary, portable” cabins.

A network of drains and ditches wiould take excess rain and irrigation water to the reservoir for re-use, with plants including iris and bulrushes in the ditches removing excess fertiliser along the way.

“No fertiliser run-off will leave the site, a significant improvement on current arable farming practices,” Allensmore’s application says.


Existing hedgerows and trees around the nursery would be kept and expanded, while a proposed embankment on two sides will “provide further habitats”, as well as retaining any flood water.

The impact on local traffic would be “low”, with a maximum of four articulated lorries per day in summer.

Allensmore grows and supplies over six million plants a year to garden centres and supermarkets as well as importing specimen plants. With a turnover of around £23 million, it is listed by trade website HortWeek as the tenth largest ornamental grower in the UK.


It already has a similarly sized production area around half a mile to the east, with more open beds as well as glasshouses and polytunnels, and another site four miles to the southeast at Tram Inn.

The company currently employs 100 permanent staff and a further 100 seasonal workers, which would increase by 10 full-time and 20-25 seasonal staff if the expansion is approved.

Comments on the application, numbered 230240, can be made until June 9.