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Popular poppy field to be turned into industrial estate

PUBLISHED: 14:45 25 June 2020 | UPDATED: 09:42 26 June 2020

A poppy field in Keswick is due to be turned into an industrial estate. Inset: Craig Knights of Norwich Apex Ltd. Picture: Archant

A poppy field in Keswick is due to be turned into an industrial estate. Inset: Craig Knights of Norwich Apex Ltd. Picture: Archant

Archant

A poppy field which has become a social media sensation is due to make way for an industrial estate - with developers urging people to enjoy the colour while it lasts.

The bright red of a field of poppies at Keswick. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe bright red of a field of poppies at Keswick. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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Norwich Apex Limited was in 2018 given outline planning permission to turn the field off Ipswich Road, near Keswick, into an industrial development, in a project it hoped would bring around 1,000 new jobs to the county.

However, in recent months thousands of poppies have sprung up, transforming the field into a sea of colour - making it a popular spot for photographers and families.

Craig Knights, one of the directors behind the company, said the decision to allow the poppies to grow was a deliberate one and he welcomed their popularity.

He said: “We sat down as a team and made the conscious decision to allow the poppies to grow. We could quite easily have treated the field with weed killer and left it bare, but instead we wanted to give the local community some colour to enjoy through these difficult times.

“The field makes up the main part of the site which will provide more than 300,000m/sq of employment space and hopefully create the best part of 1,000 new jobs for the region.

“It would have been very easy for us to not push ahead with the project but jobs are needed more than ever in these times and I think carrying on with it will be very positive for the local economy.”

Mr Knights said he was pleased people were enjoying the field, but said that building on it would be little different to farmers treating fields to allow other crops to grow.

He added: “Poppies are invasive plants and farmers kill thousands of them a year to grow single crops and nobody complains because they understand the need for the food the farmers are growing. However, there is just as much need for jobs as there is for food.”

The company has submitted a reserved matters application to South Norfolk Council for the first phase of the scheme and should it be approved, Apex hopes to begin construction work on the field in September.












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