council issues statement regarding Sanders Garden World
and Highbridge Town Council has issued a statement on the Secretary
of State's decision to give Sanders Garden World the go-ahead
to expand its site by 30,000 square feet.
council was one of three objectors at the Planning Inquiry held
into the application. The following statement was issued through
Burnham's Town Clerk, Mrs Eileen Shaw (pictured right):
report by the Inspector clearly shows the justification of the
Town Council's challenge on Sedgemoor District Council's original
planning decision. Although we have not had sufficient time to
digest all 15 pages of the Inspector's report and the observations
from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, we note that in
his conclusion in paragraphs 45 and 46, the Secretary of State
appears to acknowledge:
That the proposal is not in line with Sedgemoor District Council's
2) That the applicants retail assessment was deficient.
3) That there is no qualitative need.
4) That the site is in an unsustainable location and would generate
more travel by car.
Inspector seemed perturbed about the impact of Sanders Garden
World's catering business in the Burnham-On-Sea area and asserts
that the substantial number of covers at the garden centre may
well have already diverted trade away from Burnham-On-Sea.
the Inspector appears to criticise the evidence presented by Sanders
Garden World in their Retail Impact Assessment and agreed that
the evidence supplied by the Town and District Councils had "to
an extent addressed the deficiencies of the applicant's evidence
in this respect".
was also concerned about the sales of Christmas decorations and
whilst he agreed that most garden centres commonly sell Christmas
decorations, their sale might increase the possibility of the
Garden Centre acting as an independent attraction in its own right.
For this reason, the sale of Christmas decorations was to be restricted
to November and December only by means of a condition of the planning
question of coaches stopping for refreshments at the Garden Centre
appeared to concern the Inspector when considering whether it
was acting as an "off motorway" stop and he appeared
to take note that the Town Council was doing its best to encourage
stop offs for coaches in Burnham-On-Sea town centre.
Secretary of State noted that the increased parking provision
for cars at Sanders Garden World would not contribute to the sustainability
of the site, and although there had been no evidence of sequentially
preferable sites, the proposed extension would still impact on
the sustainability of the area.
Secretary of State has agreed that imposing conditions be means
of three schedules of the type of goods which may be sold, and
the areas from which they may be sold, will firmly limit the extent
of expansion. The third schedule in particular refers to Christmas
decorations, the sale of which must be limited to 1,200 square
metres overall internal and external floor area, and must only
take place during November and December.
Town Council will be consulting with the Chamber of Trade, and
other interested bodies, as to the conditions which have been
attached to this Planning Permission, and will be seeking further
advice as to what route is open to the Town Council, should it
be felt necessary to challenge these conditions.
is a matter of some satisfaction to the Town Council that the
Inspector clearly took great note of the evidence presented by
the Town Council at the Inquiry, and in supporting the aims and
objectives of regeneration of Burnham and Highbridge, we are of
course disappointed at his decision to recommend to the Secretary
of State that permission should be granted."
Sannders Garden World gets
go-ahead to expand
Sanders Garden World