Verdict next week on £10m garden centre
A DECISION over whether Dobbies will be allowed to build a £10million garden centre is expected to be made next week.
Planning officers had recommended that the plans for the store with a food hall and restaurant at the Eureka Leisure Park, Ashford be approved in a report in March.
But members of the planning committee voted to refuse the proposals at a meeting last month.
And it was deferred so that detailed reasons for refusal could be written up.
The scheme put forward by the Scottish garden centre chain, which is owned by Tesco Plc, attracted more than 1,300 letters of objection but only 18 letters of support.
A large number of people, including a Facebook group of more than 2,000 people, raised concerns that the Dobbies Garden World would kill off the nearby Bybrook Barn garden centre in Canterbury Road.
The centre has been run by the Burch family since the 1970s.
A key reason for refusal was that the scheme does not meet the provisions of the local development plan and many of the jobs created will be unskilled and part-time.
It was also felt the development would increase congestion and should not be sited in a park with predominantly leisure businesses.
The item will be discussed at a planning committee meeting in the council chambers in Tannery Lane at 7pm next Wednesday.
Jessica Howard, recovering after the accident with her daughter, Faith