Plans for a 17,650sq m garden centre have been approved despite concerns from local councillors.
Barton Grange Garden Centre, based in Preston, Lancashire, plans to open the new site in Brock, north of Preston. It will create 283 jobs and is going to be one of the largest in the UK. Marketing manager Kate Ford said: “It’s a 21ha development and I’m sure the garden centre is one of the largest in the UK.”
Local councillors at Wyre Borough Council expressed concerns about the £15m project including possible flooding, the adjacent dangerous road and the change in local landscape. Councillor Gordon McCann believes that the visual impact of the project would change the local landscape. He said: “Don’t be fooled, this will change the area of Bilsborrow totally.”
Other members of Wyre’s planning committee backed the plans. Councillor Lady Dulcie Atkins said: “The Barton Grange Group has a reputation for quality and this scheme has quality throughout.”
Delays in the planning permission process are because of changes to the layout of the project. Ford confirmed that the planned garden centre had to be repositioned by 90° in 2005.
Managing director Guy Topping said: “When we made the changes we knew we’d have to go back to the planning committee but we thought the delays were necessary to get it right.”
Work is expected to begin in April this year with the view to opening the garden centre in July 2007. Work will then begin on a garden park on the site.
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