Nursery and garden centre combine to produce mixed use

A LDC was issued in respect of land in Berkshire, an inspector disagreeing with both the council and the appellants in concluding that it benefited from a mixed nursery-garden centre- wholesale use.

A nursery had been established on the site since the 1980s but in 2004 the appellants purchased the site and stated that they grew fewer plants on site compared with the previous owners. While some plants were still grown on site particularly between late February to late May and from August to mid-October a significant amount of stock for sale was imported. These comprised about 87 per cent of the total which also included gardening sundries.

There was little dispute that the nature of the business changed after 2004 but there still remained a significant number of plants grown on site. The appellants and the council offered differing definitions of what constituted a ‘nursery’ and ‘garden centre’. In the inspector's opinion both elements were inter-mingled throughout the site such that the lawful use was one consisting of a horticultural plant nursery, the retail sale of imported plants and garden supplies together with the wholesale supply of plants to the commercial trade. A certificate was issued in these terms.

Inspector: Sukie Tamplin; Hearing

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