Plymouth Estates has submitted a planning application for a 4,100 tonne dry grain store (16/01438/FUL). A grain intake and grain drier will be incorporated within the building. Six grain silos are planned on the south side.
This is a big complex. It stands off the A4113 at the west edge of Bromfield village.
I haven’t yet taken a view on this application as a whole. I think we need to facilitate local farming businesses when we can. But I will wait to hear local views before making a formal comment. I am not convinced by the colour scheme proposed for the building.
The application details that the estate currently farms around: 600 hectares of wheat; 250ha barley; 160ha oil seed rape; 60ha beans. It says:
Cereals are significantly the main part of the cropping system. Crop yields have increased and also more land has come back from tenants so there is more crop to store than before. The existing drying and storage facilities on the estate farms are over 30 years old and coming to the end of their useful working life. It is important that grain is now stored in modern ‘Food Safe’ buildings and dried to the required moisture content as fuel efficiently as possible.
The building has been designed to intake and dry 5000T of cereals between beginning of August and mid-September.
I also want to know what the fuel is for the dryer. A solar farm is currently being built the other side of the A49. It would be ideal if the dryer were powered from this source or the hydro plant at the corn mill on the Oakley Estate.
A matter of colour
I am not certain about the colour scheme proposed. Current plans are to paint the silos juniper green. This is darkish colour but I think it could be darker and greyer.
Councillor Robert Tindall, representative for Cleobury North and a member of the South Planning Committee, has long made the point that darker buildings appear smaller and more successfully blend in with the countryside. I have seen several examples in the south of Shropshire where it is clear that painting with 18B29 lowers the profile of tall or bulky buildings in the landscape.
Councillor Tindall’s advice is backed up by guidance from Harrogate Council:
Dark colours are generally preferable as they make objects appear smaller especially at a distance; light colours on the other hand make them appear larger and more conspicuous. A very general rule for rural buildings especially large ones is “when in doubt make it darker”.
Exmoor National Park takes a similar view:
Darker colours, particularly dark grey and brown, are usually most suitable and will not conflict with traditional building materials where grouped with them… Contrary to the general perception, the colour green does not generally blend with the natural shades of green in the countryside and should be avoided where possible.