Camden's new lettuce and cauliflower farm to be built in Elderslie

Vegie farm: A new development will trade rooftops for lettuce and cauliflowers along Camden Valley Way in Elderslie.

Vegie farm: A new development will trade rooftops for lettuce and cauliflowers along Camden Valley Way in Elderslie.

The entrance to Camden will soon look a little different.

Camden councillors approved a $455,000 commercial market garden along Camden Valley Way at Elderslie at a council meeting on Tuesday night.

The 66.5 hectare cauliflower and lettuce farm will be operated by the Vella family, who are experienced farmers.

Town planner and spokesperson for the Vella family, Graham Pascoe said the land was ideal for farm use.

“The land is on the river flats, it has a constant water supply from the river and it is very fertile land,” he said.

“The land has been farmed in the past so we believe this farm will optimise the site’s potential.”

Mr Pascoe said the heritage nature of the site and its proximity to Camden had been well-considered by the Vella family.

He said although the site would look different to the horse agistment space there now, the Liquidamber trees along the roadside would not be touched.

“There will be patches of cultivated land from Kirkham Lane to the bridge into Camden – like a patchwork quilt of crops,” he said.

“We also have a landscape plan from a landscape architect to minimise the visual impact.

“We believe we will provide a model sustainable farm at the entrance to the Camden town centre.”

The consent conditions for the site ask the owners to protect existing vegetation apart from some trees near the homestead.

Here to stay: A spokesperson for the Vella family said the Liquidamber trees lining Camden Valley Way at Elderslie will not be removed. Picture: Anna Warr

Here to stay: A spokesperson for the Vella family said the Liquidamber trees lining Camden Valley Way at Elderslie will not be removed. Picture: Anna Warr

At the meeting Camden mayor Lara Symkowiak said the application for a farm of this size was a rare occurrence in Camden.

“It is rare for an application for primary production to come before council,” she said.

“I think it is a positive use for the site and positive for the area overall.”

Linda Carmagnola took to the Advertiser Facebook page to praise the development.

“I think it’s a shame to see the horse paddocks go as it all looks so beautiful and I'm sure a lot of people use this area to for agistment,” she said. “But I actually think it would be great to bring a little vegetation back to Camden.

“Elderslie was once farming area but now it is just smothered in houses.”

The farm will employ 24 full-time staff with the onsite manager to reside at the homestead on the property.

Truck movements have been limited to just one truck between 11pm and 3am. 

The farm will operate between 5am and 6pm daily.

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