ONE of Britain’s top nurseries is planning to build a £7.5m power station on the edge of the New Forest.

The award-winning Double H Nurseries wants to construct a biomass plant that will heat the huge glasshouses by burning 20,000 tonnes of waste wood products a year.

Bosses at the company, in Gore Road, New Milton, say the scheme will cut costs for the company which employs more than 100 people in the area as well as reducing the site’s carbon footprint.

The combined heat and power plant will be 40 metres long and 14 metres tall, making it twice as high as the glasshouses.

The planning application says the site’s current heating system uses gas and oil, both of which are becoming increasingly scarce and expensive.

It adds: “As professional growers, the owners and management of Double H Nurseries are very aware of the effects of global warming and the influence of CO2 levels on our environment.

“They are keen to become actively involved in efforts to slow global warming and preserve fossil fuels for future generations.”

The application says the plant will occupy a relatively small section of the site and will have only a minimal impact on the area.

New Milton councillor Gof Beck said he supported the proposals.

He said: “The nurseries employ a great number of people in New Milton and from an environment perspective, this is a responsible way to move forward and keep this industry alive. They have done a lot of consultation with the residents and credit to them. The residents are now quite happy.”

Double H Nurseries supplies 4.5 million house plants to UK supermarkets every year and employs more than 100 people.

Voted bedding and pot plant grower of the year in 2009, the company occupies part of a semi-rural area between New Milton Plans for a £300m biomass complex in Southampton docks have angered local residents, who have complained about the size of the proposed development.

As reported in the Daily Echo, developer Helius Energy is due to publish three new designs after the original proposals were labelled “monstrous”.

The nursery plans have been submitted to Hampshire County Council.