Puxton Park expansion plans could be given green light

MAJOR development plans at one of North Somerset’s biggest tourist attractions could be approved by councillors tonight (Thurs).

Bosses at Puxton Park have handed in two separate applications to North Somerset Council to form a larger gift shop, new garden centre, restaurant extension and other additions at the site in Cowslip Lane, Hewish.

The firm says it will provide a much-needed boost for employment in North Somerset, and the applications will be considered by the council’s south area planning committee at 6pm.

The larger of the two applications would see a current building extended into land currently occupied by a yard and staff car park.

There would be a 1,800sq metre internal floorspace, which would encompass a restaurant extension, larger gift shop and new garden centre.

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It is estimated the new facilities could provide up to 40 new jobs.

The second application would see a 5,600sq metre outside sales area built to run alongside the proposed garden centre.

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The Garden and Leisure Group, which runs Cadbury Garden & Leisure in Smallway, Congresbury, has written a letter of objection to the plans for the new garden centre, saying it is contrary to North Somerset’s planning policy.

The letter says: “Despite the various arguments put forward by the applicant and their agent that the proposed development of a garden centre and associated attractions with a total sales arc of 7,400sq metres is wholly inappropriate and fails to conform to policies which seek to direct major retail proposals to town centres/urban areas/out of town retail locations.”

The council’s officers have recommended that the plans be approved, subject to the developer sticking to a list of conditions, and agreeing to a section 106 agreement which would mean the firm would provide funds to be used on community facilities.

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