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Garden centre site could make way for 200 homes

PUBLISHED: 19:00 08 February 2020

St John's garden centre was also recently told by Tendring District Council it cannot hold its annual Winter Wonderland event Picture: ARCHANT

St John's garden centre was also recently told by Tendring District Council it cannot hold its annual Winter Wonderland event Picture: ARCHANT

Archant

A garden centre could become almost 200 homes if a council in Essex approve controversial plans next week.

The plans for the development of the garden centre were first made in October 2018 - now the public and parish council want it abandoned but the district council planning officer wants to approve it Picture: ARCHANTThe plans for the development of the garden centre were first made in October 2018 - now the public and parish council want it abandoned but the district council planning officer wants to approve it Picture: ARCHANT

St John's Garden Centre, in Earls Hall Drive in Clacton, has been the subject of plans for 195 homes since the application was first made back in October 2018.

The site would become a combination of affordable housing and private housing, made up of 30 apartments and 165 two, three, four and five bedroom homes.

The decision is due to finally be made on February 12 at a planning committee meeting - pitting the owners of the site and council officers who propose the plans are approved against the community that oppose it.

St Osyth Parish Council have repeatedly lodged their objections on the application.

There are plans for 195 homes on the site of the garden centre between St Osyth and Clacton in Essex Picture: ARCHANTThere are plans for 195 homes on the site of the garden centre between St Osyth and Clacton in Essex Picture: ARCHANT

A parish council spokesman said: "While it is noted that the proposed development is on a brown field site, the parish council has strong objections on the basis that this application would be an overdevelopment of a site, on which the layout and type of dwellings would have an adverse effect on the population density.

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"It would seem that the access to and egress from the site, from and onto the B1027, will be via a basic 't-junction' - given the volume of traffic using the road, there are concerns that this would result in traffic delays as vehicles wait to access the site."

The spokesman also highlighted the strain likely to be put on doctor's surgeries and schools in the area, as well as an existing surplus of housing stock in the district to meet Tendring's Local Plan commitments.

The planning officer advises the development goes ahead, as long as work starts within six months and several conditions are met, including investment in bus routes, healthcare, the area's ecology and more than £1.5million in contributions to education provisions.

St John's Garden Centre has already been told by Tendring District Council it will no longer be able to host its annual Winter Wonderland grotto in 2020.

Among the public objections is one of the closest neighbours to the site, Samantha Stringer of St John's Road.

She said: "The traffic will be too much for the St John's Road - at present I have problems getting off my drive due to the traffic, this would only get worse.

"We would be overlooked from all angles by the three-storey town houses and the four-storey flats.

"At present this is a quiet, semi-rural location and I would like this to stay this way and not end up like Colchester."

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