Published: May 27, 2009
Garden World expansion plans recommended for approval

Controversial proposals to build a new entrance and covered walkway at Sanders Garden World in Brent Knoll look set to be approved by district councillors next week.

Planning officer Colin Arnold has recommended that the plans are given a 'thumbs up' when the council's development committe meets at Burnham's Princess Theatre on June 2nd.

The recommendation comes despite an objection from Brent Knoll Parish Council, and two further letters opposing the plans being sent to Sedgemoor District Council.

A Brent Knoll Parish Council spokesman told 'During the previous application for a significant expansion programme in 2008, the Parish Council supported this expansion on the basis of a road improvement project and roundabout."

"The roundabout was a second option, with the preferred choice being traffic lights. The Parish Council need to be re-assured that the road improvement project is indeed part of the overall Garden World planned expansion."

"This application makes no mention of that requirement. In the light of that omission, the Parish Council cannot support this application and therefore opposes it."

Among the letters of objection received by the district council, there is one from Burnham-On-Sea Chamber of Commerce, which requests the council should "satisfy itself that it will not impact the vitality and viability of Burnham town centre."

But Sedgemoor's Case Officer Colin Arnold believes the impact will be minimal in a report published this week. He says: "These are relatively minor extensions to the existing garden centre. They will remove existing unsightly temporary structures and whilst some small extensions are proposed these will not affect the vitality and viability of the Burnham Town Centre as the Chamber of Commerce fears. The design of the proposed entrance is appropriate in its setting and will add to the attractiveness of the building. The covered walkway will aid pedestrian circulation."

"In this present economic climate it is important that we support applications that benefit economic activity and enhance the environment as a whole."

He adds: "In relation to the Parish Council's comments, it would be highly disproportionate to impose the roundabout proposed and other road improvements proposed on the previous applications."



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