Planning consent granted for £2m Dunbar centre

The consent recently given to a new £2m garden centre at Dunbar shows how garden retailers should persevere if they think they have a good case, say planners.

Berwick Garden Centre owner Nick Crabbie said the development in Dunbar, East Lothian, is for a 2ha garden centre comprising 9,725 sq m of retail space and parking and landscaping.

East Lothian Council's planning committee turned down an application in October last year amid fears that the centre could harm town-centre businesses. But Crabbie said floor space allocations were redesigned to reduce the retail impact on Dunbar.

The shop area is now 2,443 sq m, with a cold glasshouse of 345 sq m, an open-sided canopy of 833 sq m and an open sales area of 6,104 sq m. There is car parking for 169 cars plus coaches. The planning adviser is Malcolm Scott Consultants.

Crabbie said "common sense" had prevailed but added: "It's not final yet." Objections can be lodged until the end of May. He said he could open in spring 2012 but had no detailed plans yet.

More than 40 full-time, part-time and casual jobs will be created at the site, which will have an estimated turnover of £2.5m by 2012/13.

An estimated six per cent of the trade diversion caused by the centre will affect Dunbar town centre, a retail impact of 2.6 per cent, with "very small proportions" affecting North Berwick and Haddington.

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