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Barnstaple's St John's Garden Centre can move to Roundswell possibly creating 40 jobs

By NDJWill  |  Posted: April 18, 2013

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An artist's impression of how St John's Garden Centre could look if it moved to Roundswell, Barnstaple

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Plans for the relocation of St John's Garden Centre from Newport to Roundswell in Barnstaple have been approved by North Devon Council's planning committee.

The committee, which met at 10am this morning, decided to grant planning permission for the 6,475 square metre garden centre include a restaurant, classroom space, an exhibition area and space for a farmers’ market.

The plan was deferred in February because of concerns over three issues; access to the site, health and safety concerns, and concerns over whether the existing St John's site would close once the new site is up and running.

But planning manager Keith Bines said the highways issue had been resolved by a section 106 agreement between the developer and the council.

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He also said the concerns over the "cessation of activity" at the existing site had been resolved in the same way and the health and safety concerns had been played down by Environmental Health.

Agent for the developers Robin Hampton said the agreement which has been drawn up is very straightforward and ready to go. "There will be no hanging around."

Ward member for the area Glyn Lane said he supported the application as the land has been identified for development previously and added that he understood the plan would allow St John's to employ an additional 40 staff.

"It will also free up land at St John's which will be useful for development of affordable housing."

He moved the application be approved and was supported by Councillor Joe Tucker, who seconded the motion.

Councillor Mike Harrison, who is ward member for the area St John's is currently located in, also supported the application.

He said: "They are good neighbours but they're at the end of road which isn’t suited to heavy vehicles."

The rest of the committee agreed and the application was unanimously approved.

To see how the decision unfolded, read our live coverage from North Devon Council's planning committee meeting this morning.

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