Plans for new homes on former garden centre site near Peterborough recommended for approval

Helpston Garden Centre.Helpston Garden Centre.
Helpston Garden Centre.
Plans for new homes on the former site of a garden centre near Peterborough have been recommended for approval.

Plans have been submitted to demolish the former Helpston Garden Centre and outline planning permission sought to replace it with three private driveways and up to three residential dwellings.

In January 2020, plans to replace the garden centre with seven dwellings was rejected by the council for being incongruous with the area and this rejection was upheld by a government-appointed inspector after an appeal.

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DLP Planning, based in Bedford, has now submitted, an alternative plan. This for the creation of “three large detached dwellings with their own designated driveway, which would be accessed individually on to West Street.”

The design and access statement submitted as part of the plans has ruled out the possibility of the site opening as a garden centre again given the poor state of repair it had fallen into when it closed in October 2019.

It stated that it could cost around £475,000 to fully repair the site and this would necessitate a ten percent increase in rents.

The decision has been recommended for approval by planning officers but has been objected to by Barnack ward Councillor David Over on the grounds that, given the development site is situated outside the settlement boundary of the village, in the open countryside. Therefore, if officers were minded to support the application, he requested it be called into Planning and Environmental Protection Committee for final determination.

The committee will discuss the proposal and make a decision at its meeting on Tuesday (March 22).

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