Garden Centre build plans near Buckley rejected

Plans to build a new garden centre near Buckley have been rejected. This is amid concerns about coal mines underneath the land earmarked for development.

The owners of Lesters Farm Shop in Drury applied to create a new arm of their business in April last year.
The new garden centre premises would have included a nursey to grow plants. The new build was to be on land approximately half a mile away from their site.
Representatives said it was to improve the sustainability of the business. It would also have created three full time jobs.
But officers from Flintshire Council have now refused permission for the scheme. This is after question marks were raised over the safety of the site.
Coal Authority records show that there are likely to be unrecorded coal mine workings underneath it.
Planning officer James Beattie said: “The site has a legacy of coal mining. Records show a coal mine entry upon the site.
“Policy requires that upon sites where there are issues of instability development proposals can show that appropriate measures have been or will be taken. This is to ensure long terms safety and which would not put adjacent land users and the general public at risk.
“A report identified the features within the site. It concluded that further investigations were required to plan a scheme of remediation.”
He added: “The Coal Authority maintained their objection to the scheme. This is due to the absence of any assessment of the potential risks posed to the development by past coal mining activity.
“In the face of this objection, this application must be refused. The safety and stability of the site has not been established.”
The proposals were also turned down as the location was already allocated for other commercial activities.
The application was put forward after question marks were raised over the future of the fresh food sales side of the business.
In a planning statement, the firm said: “it’s vital that any business can adapt and diversify to meet demands.
“Lester’s Farm Shop employs 15 staff. It currently focuses its business on three key areas: fresh food sales, the sale of plants and a coffee shop. These compliment each other and is popular with the local people.
“The fresh food business, especially fruit and vegetable, is demanding with very tight margins.
“Such market conditions mean that in the long term trade could diminish.
“These proposals seek to create garden centre facilities that will support and enhance the existing business.
“It will enable plants to be grown. It’s also a second location to increase the business profile.”
The plans were refused by the local authority’s planning department.

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