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Christmas tree farm could be coming to Benfleet
9:00pm Tuesday 16th October 2012 in News
CHRISTMAS could come early in Castle Point as plans are in the pipeline for a new eco-friendly Christmas tree farm in Benfleet.
Paul and Jayne Rose, co-owners of fledging business Forever Green Christmas Trees, have submitted an application to Castle Point Council to create a Christmas tree cultivation facility on land between Downer Road and Catherine Road, Benfleet.
The business would enable residents in south Essex to go online and rent a living Christmas tree, which, rather than being cut down, is re-potted from the ground days before being delivered to their doorstep.
After the festive season, or once they become too big for use in a home, they are then donated to forests to be replanted.
Mrs Rose said: “We are so very passionate about being environmentally friendly. It would always have been at the heart of whatever business we decided to set up, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say we’re ‘eco-geeks’.
“We just want to do our part, and every Christmas there is such a huge amount of trees cut down and killed which are then wasted after the festivities are over. As far as we’re aware this is the first rent-a-tree facility in the county and we think it could be the ideal solution to this problem.”
The scrub land, which forms part of the borough’s green belt, has become a target for flytipping after plans by the former land owner to build stables were never followed through.
The couple, who have been married for 28 years, acquired the land last August with the intention of transforming it into a haven for three different types of trees – Nordman Fir, Fraser Fir, and Norway Spruce.
It is estimated that around 2,000 trees could be cultivated on the site.
The plans also include building rainwater storage tanks to irrigate the trees, installing a solar panel, and fencing for security.
Mr Rose said: “Castle Point is a very green borough, and the council is keen to preserve their green belt. We think this would be very much in keeping with the borough and, because all the ordering is done online, we wouldn’t envisage any additional traffic or disruption.
“We’ve had a lot of positive feedback towards the business so far and feel it would make a lovely addition to the area.”
A final decision on the application will be made by the council’s development control committee in the next few months.