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Greenham Trust appeals decision to reject storage facility in Kingsclere

Trust hopes to transform former Cottismore Nursery

GREENHAM Trust has appealed the decision to reject plans to turn the former Cottismore Garden Centre in Kingsclere into secure storage for hire.

In December 2019, the trust submitted an application to transform the site – which closed in August 2017 – into a storage facility, capable of holding up to 195 mobile shipping containers.

The site would also have 2.4m-high gated access and 1.8m-high security fencing, and would, the trust argued, “bring back an employment use to the site which is not of itself of high environmental value”.

However, in a Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council development control committee meeting on May 27, councillors went against their planning officers’ recommendation to approve the scheme and voted to refuse the application by eight to two.

Although the trust said the proposal would secure the long-term future of a local storage business, councillors turned it down on the grounds that the development would harm the landscape character and visual amenity of the area, could not be carried out without an impact on highway safety, lacked neighbouring amenities and that the concerns over the scheme were not outweighed by any economic benefits.

Eight months on, Greenham Trust has confirmed it is appealing the decision.

In its appeal, the trust detailed its response to each concern in turn, arguing that the borough council had not provided sufficient evidence to justify going against the recommendation of its officers.

The trust said: “The reasons for approval set out within the officer’s report are considered to be an accurate assessment of the proposal and should have been accepted by the planning committee, in the absence of any evidence to the contrary.

“The development would encourage the effective use of land by re-using land and bringing an employment use back to the site, and have an impact on the local landscape character and scenic quality of the area but would successfully mitigate that impact whilst delivering employment and economic benefits of previously developed land.

“It wouldn’t result in any detrimental harms to the amenities of adjoining land users in the vicinity more than could reasonably be expected from the site’s current use, provide a safe and suitable access, would not cause an adverse impact on highway safety and would provide adequate parking.

“It would also conserve the biodiversity value and nature conservation interests of the site.”

A final decision will now be made by the planning inspectorate.

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