Dobbies garden centre Nether Alderley plans deferred due to newt issue but Carlisle close to go-ahead

Dobbies plans to build a garden centre on Nether Alderley green belt in Cheshire, through a request to renew permission given to Matthews Garden Centre to relocate in the village, has been delayed by the presence of newts.

Local councillors voted to defer the decision until a great crested newt survey was done for the application.

Agent for the applicant Rob Newton, from GVA Grimley, said: "It is fair and reasonable that this is deferred."

Matthews Garden Centre was based in Nether Alderley for 35 years and was given planning consent to move across the road five years ago, but eventually decided to move out of the village.

Matthews then entered into an agreement with Dobbies, which applied to renew the permission in April when it was due to expire. Dobbies wants to use Matthews’ permission in a separate application to build a 45,000 sqm Garden World on Congleton Road green belt, close to the intended relocation site.

Planners originally recommend councillors refuse the application because of a lack of information about flooding, protected species and a satisfactory Section 106 agreement.

But at the meeting they said Dobbies had made moves to provide this information and changed their recommendation to approval.

Stuart Wright, property director at Dobbies, afterwards called it "a very logical result" adding the application was for a renewal of planning consent as part of a larger scheme

Meanwhile, Dobbies plans for an £8m garden centre at Orton Grange, south-west of Carlisle, Cumbria, are expected to get the go ahead in principle this week.

Planning officers are recommending that the new scheme is approved by Carlisle City Council’s development control committee, which meets on Frida 16 July.

Their report says: "In overall terms, the principle of the development has been established through the approval of the [previous] application.

"There would be no great harm in retail planning terms from permitting this revised proposal."

The new plans show a 5,000sqm building housing a sales area, restaurant/café and farm foodhall.

There is a cold house, and outside play and demonstration areas, farmyard pens, a plant sales area and 20 allotments to lease.

The updated application includes a 339-space car park, compared with 409 in the first scheme.

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