Plan to relocate Thaxters in Dersingham looks set to get the go-ahead

Plans to relocate and expand a popular garden centre look set to get the go-ahead, despite objections from residents.

West Norfolk councillors have been recommended to approve proposals to relocate Thaxters Garden Centre from Chapel Road to Station Road, in Dersingham.

Dersingham Parish Council is reccommending refusal. It states that Station Road is narrow on the approach to the site and this would lead to problems with congestion and lorries entering and leaving the site.

A report to West Norfolk council says: 'Sixty-four letters of have been received opposing the development with the overwhelming majority of these from residents living on Station Road who cite concerns in respect of the increased traffic flow which will undermine their amenity and pose a danger to highway safety.

'Additional concerns raised include an adverse impact on light pollution, increase in general pollution, a loss of privacy and that the entrance to the site is directly opposite a public footpath.'

Councillor Tony Bubb said there should be a site visit, to explore the issues.

The council report says the new site is close to the A149, while the application includes an 82-space car park and a large cold store.

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It adds: 'The development will generate mainly local trips with this not significantly increasing above existing levels given the business's catchment area remain unchanged and that there will only be a small

increase in HGV movements as the site is currently used as storage.'

In its application, Thaxters says it needs to adapt its business in response to changing customer needs and competition.

It says it needs to concentrate on products which supermarkets and internet retailers don't promote, such as garden sundries.

The current site - next to the Spar in the centre of Dersingham - does not have enough space.

Recommending approval, the report to councillors says: 'Given the constraints posed by the existing site on the garden centre business in respect of

space and parking provision along with the need for the business to adapt in response to

competition, and the location of the proposed site in relation to the village, in principle the

development is acceptable.

'The key material considerations are the level of additional traffic

and its impact, and ecology. In terms of highways the rise in traffic, although noticeable, will

not detract from the amenity of neighbouring residents, to the extent that permission should be witheld.'

Councillors meet to discuss the plan on Monday, January 9.

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