Transport Canada expresses concerns over greenhouse project

Paul
Paul Hutchings
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DEER LAKE The owner of a potential greenhouse business in Deer Lake said he is confident that the project will still go forward in light of Transport Canada inquiries.

The greenhouse was set to be constructed on a highway location near the Deer Lake Regional Airport, but Transport Canada has asked about the greenhouse’s lighting situation and whether it would have an effect on the airport’s plane traffic.

Officials also want to find out if it may attract birds or other wildlife, which could cause any number of issues for planes and airport staff.

The town’s economic development officer Damon Clarke said the inquiry is strictly for safety and should not be construed as keeping the business from opening.

“This is part of the process because it’s near an airport, if it were in a different part of town it might not be a factor,” said Clarke. “We’ve talked to the proponent and suggested they provide some answers, but I’m optimistic (it will go forward).”

For his part, greenhouse owner Clyde Simmons said he has complied with the airport’s governing body and will wait to hear from them, he hopes, in the next few weeks. He called the concerns “Legitimate.”

“The worse-case scenario here is that I’ll have to find a different location, but I like this location,” said Simmons. “I’ve addressed some of their concerns and I’m waiting to hear what they say about it.”

The land he hopes to use is about 100 acres between the airport turnoff from the highway and Junction Brook. Simmons’ plans are to grow vegetables that are traditionally shipped in to supply local grocery stores using traditional farming methods as well as some hydroponic. It could employ over 40 people upon completion.

Simmons said he still hopes to get the project up and running in the new year.

Organizations: Transport Canada, Deer Lake Regional Airport

Geographic location: DEER LAKE

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  • Information-Based
    October 19, 2013 - 15:53

    Outstanding business idea. Hopefully this project happens sooner rather than later, even if this site turns out to be unsuitable.

    • WantsToEatHealthy
      October 22, 2013 - 11:55

      This project could be a win-win for the people of Newfoundland. It can bring jobs; it can make truly FRESH produce available to us; and hopefully will help make eating healthy more affordable. If the current site is not suitable I hope finding an alternative site on the West Coast does not take too long.