The owner of two garden centres in the Cheddar Valley has been finally given the green light for a massive expansion plan at one of its operations ? but says it has no plans to build an extension any time soon.
Sanders Garden World in East Brent, which is owned by The Garden Centre Group, has received permission for the multi-million pound expansion, having submitted the application in 2008 – though plans have been on the table since back in 2000.
The details have now been agreed between Sedgemoor District Council, Somerset County Council and Sanders Garden World but the company has denied it will be committing to any extension plans in the near future.
Instead, the company will be making minor refurbishments to the existing premises.
The permission for an extension has been six years in the making, with previous owners, Wyevale, originally citing a plan for a new roundabout built on the A38 between East Brent and Brent Knoll.
The new roundabout on the A38 would allow vehicles to turn right out of the site instead of first travelling south to the Edithmead Roundabout and undertaking a U-turn.
But one member of the public, Mr Cudlipp, expressed his frustration at the length of time it has
taken to finally get the go-ahead for the popular garden centre.
He said: ?I am pleased the Section 106 has been agreed, but I think it is diabolical that a planning application that dates back to 2008 is still alive, and was only decided yesterday.
?It?s awful that planners can keep these applications alive for so long and get away with it.?
The company now have five years in which to begin construction in order to retain the permission for the extension.
The Garden Centre Group also own Cheddar Garden Centre, and initial fears over loss of business to the village garden centre were played down by Sedgemoor district councillor Jeff Savage who said that the expanded garden centre should not impact on the village of Cheddar.
He said: ?The Cheddar Garden Centre has been a huge success and has been a really great investment for the village.
?I think they have different clientele and just because one is increasing, doesn?t mean that all of Cheddar?s clientele will suddenly go to the Brent Knoll centre.?