Garden set to grow

FENLAND planning officers are being urged to approve plans for a major expansion of a Fenland garden centre or be at risk of going against one of the council s key initiatives. Expansion is being sought for Long Acre Garden Centre, on the outskirts of Wis

FENLAND planning officers are being urged to approve plans for a major expansion of a Fenland garden centre or be at risk of going against one of the council's key initiatives.

Expansion is being sought for Long Acre Garden Centre, on the outskirts of Wisbech St Mary. Plans include doubling the size of the car park, building new polytunnels and creating a new open display and sales area.

But agent Peter Humphrey said, after the council supported the formation of the business in 2002: "It would seem perverse if the council was to allow the enterprise to establish but were then to strangle a successful enterprise from expanding."

Doubling the size of the car park is included in the application, in a bid to prevent motorists parking near the crossroads where the garden centre is based. A need to "spread out" existing plant displays and a need to grow a greater number of plants under cover are reasons also sighted for the expansion onto agricultural land next to the centre in Seadyke Bank.


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In his supporting letter to the council Mr Humphrey said: "Since the main visual aspects of the expanded site will be plants and polytunnels, the rural character of the area will be maintained. The proposals will, in fact, be contributing to a more diverse rural activity.

"The expansion will further provide a greater employment security to the existing staff as well as providing a successful spring-board for employing additional staff in the future.

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