Residents at Great Sutton near Ellesmere Port in Cheshire have launched a campaign designed to prevent their local garden centre - the Klondyke Group’s Sycamore Park – from closing.
The centre, one of Klondyke’s smallest, is no longer regarded as commercially viable because of its size and the proximity of housing on three sides. Previous planning applications for housing development on the site have been refused.
Now the Liverpool-based Riverside Housing Association wants to build 52 houses and apartments there and has started consultation with the community ahead of a planning application.
In a letter to residents, it says 38 houses and 14 two-bedroom apartments are proposed, for shared ownership and affordable rent.
Residents have now started a “Save Sycamore Park Garden Centre” group on Facebook. “Considering there are many plots of empty land across the town that would make more sense for affordable housing, it begs the question why they would want to chose this site? There's no need for people to lose their jobs in order to build housing in the town,” says a statement from the group.
Previous plans were turned down because of concerns over a parking, access, loss of employment at the garden centre and protected trees.
Klondyke chief executive David Yardley told GTN Xtra the new plans had the group's support. Asked if the centre could be re-located to a more suitable site locally, he said: "We are always looking for centres or sites to invest in for the future of the business."