£10m Dobbies centre in Carlisle gets council go ahead but final decision referred to Government Office for the North West

Carlisle councillors have voted in principle to approve the £10m Dobbies garden centre scheme, but because it is classed as a large out-of-town retail development, the decision has to be referred to the Government Office for the North West.

Officials there will decide if there will be a public inquiry.

Dobbies Garden Centres director of property and development Stuart Wright said: "We are delighted at the support the council has given our proposals and are very much looking forward to trading in Carlisle. The referral to the Government Office is standard in such situations and we would like to hope that there would be no issues of major strategic importance that would warrant a public inquiry."

If there is no inquiry, Tesco-owned Dobbies will start work in summer 2010 and open in late 2010. The development should create around 120 jobs. Dobbies and Linton Tweeds, which owns the land and nearby Westwood Nurseries tabled the plans.

Linton Tweeds' director Bruce Walker said Westwood would supply the centre with plants: "The proposals support sustainable nurseries, improve traffic safety and minimise environmental impact. Dobbies Garden World will be an asset to Carlisle."

Principal planning officer Sam Greig recommended permission was granted. There will be conditions limiting the sale of non-gardening merchandise, similar to those that apply at nearby Klondyke Houghton Hall garden centre.


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