Vertical farm planned as part of Crouch End development
- Credit: Martyn Gerrard
Proposals have been announced to build new flats and a zero-carbon vertical farm to replace a commercial development in Crouch Hill road.
Martyn Gerrard, on behalf of its client Greyclyde Investments Ltd, has held a public consultation on proposals for 139-143 Crouch Hill, including 27 flats and a vertical, hydroponic farm across four storeys.
The development would replace six flats and commercial properties which currently house the now-closed Oddbins and Checkalow Tiles, Butternut Bikes, and French restaurant Les 2 Garcons.
Greyclyde Investments wants to build a hydroponic farm, powered by solar panels that will "feed oxygen" through the building, on the ground floor.
In vertical farms, crops are grown indoors under special LED lights. Crops are stacked layers, rather than spread out horizontally, like in traditional farming.
Vertical farming uses less land and 90-95% less water than traditional farming. Water is recycled again and again through the same hydroponic system, so no water is wasted.
A farm shop, selling micro greens grown on site, would face the street at the front. The produce will also be distributed by electric vehicles or bike to the Crouch End and Islington area.
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The Crouch Hill site was formerly a petrol station, and Simon Gerrard, managing director of Martyn Gerrard, said that "although it's in a conservation area, it is considered an eyesore and the council is very keen for that to be changed".
A planning application has yet to be submitted, but on April 7 and 9, Martyn Gerrard held a public consultation.
"It was excellent. Over 100 people attended. We got over 50 feedback forms, with very helpful feedback," Simon said.
"We're taking special notice to the four houses that are opposite because it impacts them the most."
He said that the feedback was mixed; some people wanted shops but some people did not.
Martyn Gerrard will now use the feedback to adapt its design and put in a planning application.