The site has historically been used as a horticultural nursery, with a number of large glasshouses on the site, but had been vacant since 2003. The proposal was to replace the existing structures, some of which had been removed from the site due to their poor condition, with modern buildings comprising over 30,000 sq m of floorspace.
The volume of the new buildings was 37% greater than those which had existed historically, and 132% greater than those which were currently present.
DHA successfully demonstrated that the new facility was appropriate in the Green Belt and that visual, transport, ecology, flood risk and residential amenity impacts were all acceptable. Prior to issue of the decision notice, DHA successfully negotiated conditions restricting hours of use to improve flexibility for the operator. The permission was issued under delegated powers, avoiding the need for consideration by planning committee.