Decision day for clothes sales bid

An application to alter strict conditions on sales at a garden centre near Morpeth, which has faced strong opposition from businesses and councillors, is recommended for approval at a planning meeting this evening.

Heighley Gate Nursery and Garden Centre is seeking to ‘consolidate’ planning conditions relating to the sale of clothing and footwear.

The outlet is currently restricted to selling garden clothes, footwear, hats and some outdoor clothing to avoid competition with Morpeth town centre.

The application, which originally dates back to 2013, removes the specifics and provides for the sale of ‘clothing and shoes’, limited to a maximum of 2,000sq m of floor space, compared to 1,300sq m currently.

Organisations against the bid, which include the Morpeth Chamber of Trade and Dransfield Properties (owner of Sanderson Arcade), claim there is no justification for such a large area of fashion retailing.