195 homes on Clacton garden centre site rejected by council
PUBLISHED: 09:20 15 February 2020 | UPDATED: 09:26 15 February 2020
A bid to build almost 200 homes at a garden centre site in Clacton has been unanimously rejected by councillors.
The proposal to demolish St John's Plant Centre, in Earls Hall Drive, and build new homes was shelved by Tendring District Council's planning committee on February 12.
Members raised concerns about a number of issues including the character of the homes and access issues from St John's Road.
The existing nursery buildings and glasshouses would have been bulldozed and 24 apartments, 163 homes and eight mixed commercial/residential spaces created.
However, St Osyth Parish Council and angry residents opposed the development, and all nine district councillors voted to reject it.
Planning committee chairman John White said: "My personal view was that the site would cause too many problems for the B1027, the road between St Osyth and Clacton.
"There is already plans for another 700 homes in St John's Road, and almost 200 more homes would force too much traffic onto the road.
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"The committee also felt the development was not in keeping with the existing homes in the area.
"There were four-storey buildings planned and the tallest buildings in St John's Road are two-storey."
A district council spokesman added: "Concerns had been raised by local residents and St Osyth Parish about the suitability of the site for development, and a lack of infrastructure to support the new homes.
"However, the application was refused due to the adverse highways impact cumulative with other approved developments in the area, because back-land development is out of character for the area, and concern for the adverse impact on amenities of existing residents in St John's Road."
Mr White said an appeal from the developers is expected but none has been made yet.
Tendring District Council argued the site only had planning permission to operate as a wholesale outlet, selling horticultural and agricultural goods to trade customers.
Enforcement was paused after the nursery appealed against the notice, but now inspector Diane Fleming has ruled in the council's favour.