'Green' roof for car showroom

A GREENER environment and cars bearing prestige badges make unusual bedfellows.But a west Suffolk firm wanting to build a new BMW and Mini showroom in west Suffolk is planning to change all that by creating a green roof over the entire building.

Laurence Cawley

A GREENER environment and cars bearing prestige badges make unusual bedfellows.

But a west Suffolk firm wanting to build a new BMW and Mini showroom in west Suffolk is planning to change all that by creating a green roof over the entire building.

Carrs of Bury St Edmunds wants to build two separate car showrooms on land at Thetford Road, Fornham St Martin, near Bury St Edmunds.


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The firm already has two showrooms but wants to expand the area and turn the current showrooms into parts centres.

Part of the site is currently used as agricultural grazing land. But as well as putting forward a detailed landscape scheme, Carrs also wants to put “green roofs” on the new buildings which would be used for grasses, shrubs and perennials.

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In a statement sent to St Edmundsbury Borough Council architect John Popham, working for Carrs, said other sites had been looked at but none of the plots available freehold were suitable.

He said: 'The proposals aim actively to increase the biodiversity potential of the area. The current commercial site with its proliferation of impermeable surfaces and tarmacadam hard standings offers little opportunity for natural colonization and habitat creation.

'However, the gently sloping green roof of the proposed showrooms, with its deep planting media, will help create an attractive “natural” environment which is linked directly to adjoining meadows.

'The proposed scheme intends to provide new sales showroom buildings for BMW and Mini with ancillary support accommodation including sales offices, administration, manager's office and staff and public welfare facilities.'

He added the existing BMW and Mini showrooms would become parts and services centres.

No objections have been made against the scheme by the Lark Vallley Association or those neighbouring the site.

Fornham St Martin Parish Council claims the scheme could be overdevelopment but did not wish to stand in the firm's way claiming it understood Carrs' need to expand.

The council's own planning officers have recommended it be approved when it goes before the council on Thursday.

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