Garden centre bid gets green light

PLANS to sell a wider range of goods at a garden centre near Morpeth have been given the go ahead.

The decision by the county council’s North Area Planning Committee was made despite claims that it would harm the town centre.

Heighley Gate Nursery and Garden Centre will now be able to stock items such as outdoor clothing, cards, luggage, photo albums and camping equipment.

The Morpeth and District Chamber of Trade, Sanderson Arcade and some residents opposed the application by The Garden Centre Group because they are concerned that businesses in the town will lose trade given what is now on offer at the centre and it has free parking.

But planning officers said the total selling space will not increase and that it already sells a wide range of goods.

With conditions attached, including that these items have to be sold from an area not exceeding 50 per cent of the indoor retail floor space, they believe this amendment will not impact on the vitality and viability of the town centre.

Although Coun David Moore and Coun Trevor Thorne were against the plans, the majority of the committee voted in favour.

For more details see next week’s Morpeth Herald.