Strong financial argument key to planning success

Malcolm Scott Consultants has achieved a raft of planning successes, with planners looking more favourably on schemes that will bring business to an area in the recession.

Sefton Meadow Home & Garden Centre at Maghull, near Liverpool, has been granted planning consent for 975sq m of new building development despite being in the green belt. Malcolm Scott Consultants, which acted for owner Mike Withers, negotiated the consent following six months of work. "A key issue was the presenting of a clear commercial need for the development", said Malcolm Scott Consultants director Chris Primett. "While in the past planners were less concerned about such a need it is becoming apparent, even at appeal, that a well-presented financial argument can strengthen your case."

Frosts Garden Centre at Woburn Sands is set for more expansion following the granting of planning consent for a new pet centre. Malcolm Scott Consultants negotiated the consent for converting vacant warehouse space to unrestricted A1 retail use.

"The case rested on demonstrating in detail to the council how buying procedures have changed leading to greater efficiency in warehouse utilisation and hence less space is required," explained Primett.

Klondyke recently won planning consent at its Wilmslow site, which is in the green belt, for 683sq m of new retail canopy and a 312sq m extension to the coffee shop.

Pacific Nurseries, near Walsall, was recently granted consent for full garden centre use — again, this site is in the green belt.

Development has been approved at Hatton Country World, a farm zoo and shopping village near Warwick, including garden centre, big indoor play barn, new restaurant and shop extensions, all in the green belt.

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