Previous planning applications were withdrawn after being called in by the Secretary of State for a call-in inquiry.
The garden centre building floor-space will nearly double from 3,229sq m to 6,341sq m. The covered open-sided canopies will increase from 1,297sq m to 1,650sq m. The outdoor plant sales area will increase by a third from 1,563sq m to 1,916sq m. There will be 538 parking spaces, 209 permanent and 329 overflow. The centre will employ 300 people.
Outline planning permission has been granted for enabling development-a five bedroom detached house, to partly meet the capital cost of the visitor centre and education building at Birdworld.
There will be closer links between Forest Lodge Garden Centre and nearby Birdworld, including a single storey pet shop link building, and a light railway around Birdworld.
There will be sustainable measures which will include energy generated on site from a mix of ground source heat pumps, photo-voltaic panels, roof-mounted solar panels, wood fuel heating in co-operation with adjoining Forestry Commission woodlands, water harvesting and grey water systems.
The site will include a bus stop and shelter, footpath and cycleway and landscaping.
Managing director Roger Head said: "We are delighted this long running saga has reached a successful conclusion. Malcolm Scott Consultants have successfully pre-empted a second call in by their expert and wide-ranging knowledge of town planning and garden centres."
Subscribe to Horticulture Week for more news, more in-depth features and more technical and market info.