A new garden centre, farm shop and restaurant/café complex in Elveden has got the green light. Blue Diamond will be the operators of the new centre.
Elveden Farms Limited applied to construct a 3,886sqm building within its walled garden area. Elveden Courtyard’s existing car park is expanding to 400 spaces.
The facility could create more than 100 jobs and create a ‘tourist destination’.
The scheme would see the courtyard’s shop and restaurant relocated to the new complex. The existing courtyard would be re-let.
Currently, the walled garden area is only used for events.
Thetford Garden Centre told planners it was concerned about the scheme’s impact.
“It will put a significant impact on our business. Our £3 million investment may now not be workable. Any jobs they create will cancel out from the ones we would have created,” it said.
“We are a true independent, family business with very strong links to the local community. We need protecting to some extent.”
Meanwhile, Historic England raised concerns over the proposals. They may harm the historical significance of the nearby grade I-listed Elveden Hall.
West Suffolk Council planners said in a report. “The benefits of the development significantly outweigh the identified minor harm in respect of the setting of the walled garden area and the impact on the conservation area.”