Published: February 10, 2009
£4m expansion of garden centre near Burnham could win approval today

Controversial plans for a 35,000 square foot expansion of a garden centre near Burnham-On-Sea could be given the go-ahead by district councillors today (Tuesday February 10th).

Plans to extend Sanders Garden World at Brent Knoll were unveiled by store boss Peter Burks in March last year (pictured) and are due to be considered by members of Sedgemoor's Development Control Committee at a meeting in Bridgwater today.

Several councillors are keen to see the garden centre injecting more funding into Burnham town centre if the planning application is to proceed, similar to the deal recently struck with Tesco.

It comes after Burnham-On-Sea's Chamber of Trade said last year that the proposals could hurt town centre trade by several million pounds every year.

The Chairman of the Chamber, Alex Turco, told Burnham-On-Sea.com at the time: "The Chamber would welcome this development if it were demonstrated that it would be positive for the Burnham-On-Sea economy."

"However, this development presents a risk that jobs and revenue will be diverted from the existing economy of Burnham, with which we are immediately concerned, as well as that of Highbridge."

Wyevale, which bought the garden centre in 2007, wants to increase the size of the store's covered building to 63,000 square feet and generate over 100 new jobs. The proposal would also see the number of car parking spaces rise from 369 to 411, and a new roundabout introduced on the A38 to cope with traffic.

Store manager Peter Burks believes the extended store would have no impact on the trade of Burnham shops. "I really don't think it should make any difference to businesses in Burnham at all," he told Burnham-On-Sea.com. "Our initial planning application restricted the number and type of products we could sell to reduce competition with shops in Burnham, and we have no intention of changing this."

RELATED LINKS:

Decision on Garden World expansion is deferred
Burnham town councillors want centre's product ranges restricted
Garden centre expansion 'could cost Burnham millions'
Plans for multi-million pound garden centre expansion go on show
Exhibition to be held by growing garden centre
Revealed: Garden centre to unveil expansion plans

 




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