Van Hage Garden Centre withdraws Waitrose planning application

Plans to build a Waitrose store at Van Hage Garden Centre, Great Amwell in Herts should have gone before the planning committee earlier this week. However in the face of local opposition and a planning officer recommendation for refusal, they were withdrawn at the last minute.

Van Hage managing director, Chris Roberts, explained that his advisers had negotiated solutions to two of the council?s four objections, but it was too late to alter plans already before the committee. So it was logical to withdraw the application and resubmit plans that overcome the highway objections rather than face an expensive appeal.

Local objectors also fear the scheme will damage Hertford, Ware and Hoddesdon town centres as the proposal would mean closure of the 25 year old Waitrose store in the centre of Hertford. But the supermarket group has made it clear that the store is now too small to be viable.

As well as a 25,000 sq ft. Waitrose store, the plans allow for an upgrade of the garden centre scheduled to complete in spring 2016. This will include extending the restaurant by 125 seats and rebuilding the catering area.

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