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  • Charnleys Garden Centre extension threatened with demolition to be saved

    Charnleys Garden Centre’s £1m extension facing demolition in a council planning wrangle may be saved.
    Charnleys Home and Gardens in Dalton looks set to stay if Barrow councillors give the go-ahead.
    The firm, run by Marc Charnley, has applied for retrospective or backdated planning permission.
    Town hall planners have suggested the company’s application be agreed with 11 conditions. This would mean the buildings could stay.
    Councillors on the planning committee meet on Tuesday to decide the application.
    The business fell foul of the regulations after it re-opened two years ago with a £1 million revamp.
    The council discovered there was no permission for a building at the former Crooklands Garden Centre. Nor was there any approval for the business to extend its range from plants and garden goods, to home, gift and furniture sales.
    Officials said this constituted a “change of use” of the site, which needs council approval. At the time, Mr Charnley said the business had expanded. He had not realised the changes required permission from the council.
    Councillors need to agree a “retrospective change of use” of 995 sqm from garden sales to non-food retail.
    The application also seeks permission for the two-storey building. This is along with a covered court-yard and mezzanine level.
    Permission is also needed for the creation of an extended car parking area.
    A report to go before councillors said: “The building works and change of use are understood to have been completed in May 2016.
    The applicant has been trading within the extended building since this date. This application is requested to resolve an outstanding enforcement case.”
    The council consulted with neighbours of the business. No objections against the plans came.
    Dalton With Newton Town Council provided no comment. Barrow Council’s policy and regeneration teams backed the proposal.

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