Expansion plans for a company growing salad crops will have a “devastating impact on the Green Belt”, according to Lee Valley Park Authority.

Plans to expand Valley Grown Nurseries in Paynes Lane, Nazeing, will see the construction of a renewable energy plant and 21 acres of glasshouses for growing tomatoes and peppers.

The development will be within the Lee Valley Park and cover nine hectares of Green Belt with glasshouses which will stand at around nine meters high.

A spokeswoman for the authority said: “The building will have a devastating impact on the open landscape of the park and Green Belt, which government and local council policies try to protect.

“There will be considerable disruption during construction and there is only limited control over the number of heavy goods vehicles using country lanes to get access.

“Whilst we acknowledge that the industry needs large scale glasshouses the Authority believes that they should be located away from areas of high landscape value such as these.”

The project is expected to bring 40 jobs to the area and see its first harvest in 2016.