‘Traffic chaos’ at Christmas Wonderland attraction

St John's Nursery Christmas display

St John's Nursery Christmas display - Credit: Archant

A garden centre that runs a popular Christmas Wonderland attraction has been criticised for making life a ‘nightmare’ for its neighbours in the run-up to Christmas.

The road leading up to St John's Nursery in Clacton. Picture: Google Maps

The road leading up to St John's Nursery in Clacton. Picture: Google Maps - Credit: Archant

The only way in and out of St John’s Nursery in Clacton is via Earls Hall Drive, and residents of the street claim that visitors to the garden centre are parking in their drives and in the bus stop during busy periods.

One of them, Sam Stringer, said: “people are still parking right out the front of people’s houses. They are letting too many people in. It’s a ridiculous shambles. There have been two accidents up there since they have opened their Christmas attraction this year. We are going to end up with a nasty collision.”

Ms Stringer says the traffic problem has gotten “worse and worse” as the St John’s Christmas attraction has become more popular.

St John’s Nursery declined to comment about the allegations.

Last December, Tendring District Council temporarily shut the centre down in a row over planning permission as well as traffic issues, and served an enforcement notice earlier this year too.

One man, who declined to be named, visited St John’s last Saturday and claimed he was stuck in traffic coming out of the lane for more than half an hour.

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The garden centre has employed members of staff to direct traffic in a bid to ease the congestion, but Ms Stringer claims it’s not enough.

But residents might not have to worry about traffic building up outside St John’s next Christmas, because the landowners have submitted a planning application for redevelopment of the garden centre site.

The scheme is for 210 homes and eight live-work units, but do not include plans for a garden centre.