REPORT OF THE DEVELOPMENT AND CONSERVATION
Erection of external canopy following removal of existing marquee.
RESOLVED: That the application 22/01657/FP be GRANTED planning permission subject to the reasons set out in the report of the Development and Conservation Manager
Audio recording – 40:36
Anne McDonald presented the report and gave a verbal presentation, which included:
· There is one update which is the addition of condition 4 which states that prior to the erection of the canopy, the marquee is to be dismantled and removed from the site.
· This is a full application for a small section of canopy roofs just alongside the main pathway from the car park to the main building which is already covered by a canopy.
· The marquee is an unauthorsied structure and will go, the proposed canopy will be open and is the same height as the existing canopy.
· The application has been called in the committee for determination by Councillor Dennis-Harburg and the applications recommended for conditional permission
There were no questions from Members.
The Chair invited Mark Whitby to speak against the application.
Mark Whitby thanked the Chair for the opportunity to address the Committee and gave presentation, including:
· I represent a group of 5 neighbours who live immediately opposite the garden centre
· We have watched a slow intensification of the use of the garden centre and have had good relationships with the planners and seen that two applications have gone to appeal and been refused.
· With the new owners we have seen further intensification of the use of the garden centre.
· This is the fourth of five applications which have been made since March 2021.
· The first two were made during lockdown and we were not informed for the works and was passed by delegated powers despite the fact they created a 65% increase in covered areas on the site
· These areas which were formerly used for the display of plants and pots were now dedicated to things such as hot tubs and teddy bears.
· There are plant pots and bagged materials now occupy car parking space. The result of this is the car park spilling out onto the adjacent field.
· We want the owners of the site to come forward with a master plan rather than a series of small applications
· The impact of this growth and use of the site is significant on the site. We have increased traffic as a result and we have problems exiting our driveways due to the road layout.
· This is a green belt site.
· The marquee was put on the site demonstrates inappropriate use of the previous areas they were using for the display of plants and our argument is that they don’t need this extension and they can use the existing areas.
There were no points of clarification.
The Chair invited David Lazenby to speak for the application.
David Lazenby thanked the Chair for the opportunity to address the Committee and gave presentation, including:
· I am the applicant and I work at the garden centre company that owns Hitchin garden centre. I’ve worked and known the garden centre for about 7/8 years.
· This is a minor addition to the garden centre but will make a significant improvement to the garden centre
· The reason ... view the full minutes text for item 17