A DEVELOPMENT of 20 new homes on surplus land at a garden centre near Christchurch has received the green light.

New Forest District Council’s planning committee has approved a full application for the scheme at Everton Nurseries in Christchurch Road, near Milford on Sea. 

Permission has been given to knock down the existing buildings associated with the garden centre and replace them with 16 houses and four flats. 

Half the total properties will be affordable and the scheme will come with new public open space, a children’s play area, 48 parking space and landscaping. 

Bournemouth Echo: Everton Nursery

The housing will replace ageing and redundant greenhouses, polytunnels, storage sheds and containers which are no longer required by Everton Nurseries following investment and re-configuration of its site. 

Planning permission was granted after representatives from Ken Parke Planning Consultants (KPPC) addressed issues raised in considerable opposition to the scheme. 

Residents had described the scheme as an “insult” to those who have supported the nurseries' business over the past century. 

Hordle Parish Council described the scheme as an “overdevelopment” of the site that will have a “detrimental effect on the openness of the green belt”. 

Bournemouth Echo: Ken ParkeKen Parke (Image: PR)

Ken Parke, managing director of Bournemouth-based KPPC, disagreed: “This is a very well-designed scheme which will deliver much needed family homes. 

“There were a number of matters which were successfully addressed to allow planning permission to be granted. 

“Although the site is located within the green belt, it is not open countryside and sits between existing residential areas and the main garden centre complex. 

“Planning policy allows redevelopment of previously developed land in the green belt for residential purposes provided there is no greater impact on the openness of the green belt. 

“As a garden centre is essentially a retail or mixed use site, we were able to successfully demonstrate that the site meets the definition of previously developed land and complies fully with green belt policy. 

“Planning policy also sets out a preference for previously developed land to be redeveloped in preference to undeveloped green field land. 

“We are grateful to members of the planning committee for recognising the merits of this application under ‘common sense’ planning policies to allow a high quality residential development with significant environmental, social and economic benefits.”