Portslade garden centre’s major expansion plans are approved
Major changes to a Portslade garden centre were approved at a planning meeting on Monday (November 8).
Adur District Council’s planning committee unanimously backed plans to expand the Mayberry Garden Centre in Old Shoreham Road.
It is owned and operated by Tates of Sussex, and Tate Bros Limited submitted the plans back in June.
The company now has permission to expand its premises and create a new access.
A public right of way (PRoW) will be diverted and improved to facilitate the changes.
Both the indoor and outdoor retail areas will be extended, which will see an increase of more than 2,000 square metres in floorspace.
Planning committee members welcomed the plans, especially the potential economic benefits and proposed right of way improvements.
Tania Edwards (Con, Southlands) said: “I welcome this application, I think it’s going to improve the area and extend jobs.
“I think there’s a lot of thought that has gone into this.”
Plans would affect the eastern third of the vacant Eastbrook Allotments site which is also subject to a planning application for a car showroom (AWDM/1032/21).
Together, the now approved car showroom and garden centre expansion could see more than £7 million in capital investment; more than 3,500 square metres of commercial space; the creation of 60 full-time jobs; more than £400,000 for the local economy; and a business rates contribution of more than £130,000.
This was welcomed by Steve Neocleous (Con, Churchill), who said: “I think we should be seen to be supporting a successful local business and the creation of 60 full time jobs is a big bonus too.
“I think the announcement of a footpath should clearly be seen as positive.”
A new warehouse and ‘goods in’ on the southern side would allow the company to make fewer deliveries, in larger vehicles, to reduce the number of trips from its Hassocks store.
A new junction is also planned off of Old Shoreham Road, with access for the warehouse.
Carol O’Neal (Lab, Eastbrook) said this could see a great improvement.
“Separating the commercial aspect from the general public is a great improvement because parking on that site is really quite difficult,” she said.
“It’s a bit like a Tardis, you kind of go in and it’s really very restricted.”
Councillor Edwards wanted to know if the expansion would affect opening hours, which she said could affect residents with light and noise pollution in turn.
But council officers said that there was ‘no indication’ that hours could be extended and construction noise is ‘not considered to be a major issue’; a noise assessment was included in the planning application and deliveries will be restricted to hours between 8 am and 6 pm.
A representative of Tate Bros Limited, the applicant, said that ‘all aspects of the application have been meticulously and diligently considered’.
“The highways authority have confirmed their support for the new access arrangements which will remove the need for deliveries to use the same access as the garden centre customers,” he added.
The representative said the plans are ‘encouraging business development’ on a ‘vacant area of land’ whilst ‘acknowledging the restrictive nature of the site’.
Improvements to the right of way could see it widened and resurfaced with new lighting installed.
Council officers confirmed that Tate Bros Limited now own the path but that it will remain protected as a PRoW.
A separate process will now take place to allow the path to be diverted legally.
More information can be found at the Adur planning portal using reference: AWDM/1154/21.