St Johns Plant Centre’s plans to appeal enforcement action

Bosses at St Johns Plant Centre say they have every right to continue their popular Christmas Wonderland attraction.
 
Tendring Council served an enforcement notice on the centre last month. This was after advising the firm it was operating outside of its planning permission.
 
Last year, the council made a failed application for a High Court injunction to shut the event down due to traffic ‘chaos’.

St Johns still appealing winding up order

 
But the garden centre has vowed to continue trading as normal and is preparing to host the festive event.
 
Council bosses say they were ‘minded to approve’ an application from the business to improve the access road. The firm appealed before the decision was made.
 
Fred Nicholls,corporate enforcement councillor, said the council had engaged with the business.
 
“We are not against business success, and do a lot of work to support businesses in Tendring,” he said.
 
“What we are against are businesses operating outside of planning permission.
 
“Last year, a High Court judge turned down our application for a temporary injunction against the Winter Wonderland. He instructed all sides to work together to resolve the issues. We have been doing that.
 
“It is disappointing that we have got to this stage. The nursery is looking to put on a Christmas Wonderland despite warnings from us throughout the year.”
 
He added: “I welcome comments made by the nursery that it will appeal our enforcement notice.
 
“This may seem unusual, but if the nursery appeals – and in effect enters a planning application – a judgement can be made on this issue once and for all. We can all draw a line under it.”

Widening access road ‘not enough’

 
Tendring Council added that the centre’s application to widen an access road does not go far enough to address concerns.
 
Mr Nicholls said: “The suggestion by the nursery that its site use and access are equal to applications approved by us for nearby housing developments, with new, acceptable road junctions is a gross oversimplification of planning matters.”

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