A Chippenham garden centre are progressing with its ambitious development plans after planning experts at Malcolm Scott Consultants secured an amendment to restrictions placed on the business that prevented them commencing with their scheme.

Whitehall Garden Centre had been given permission prior working with Malcolm Scott Consultants to undertake 11,000 m² of development at its Corsham Road site in Lacock, but the strict restrictive retail conditions imposed by Wiltshire Council meant that the owners’ hands were tied in regard to starting work.

Chris Primett, of garden centre planning and design specialists Malcolm Scott Consultants, said: “It was a real conundrum for the Whitehall team.  On one hand, they had the green light to carry out this extensive retail and restaurant development that would create fantastic new opportunities to expand its offering.

“However, on the other, the original terms surrounding the planning permission meant that the whole development would have to be completed within a year, and that each of the six planned buildings were limited in terms of what goods could be sold from them.

“We negotiated with Wiltshire Council to successfully secure a variation in the retail restriction conditions, amending them so that the centre has greater freedom over what items are sold, and in ensuring that the project could be completed in phases”.

Peter Self said: “It was such a relief to have Chris’ expertise on this matter. We were very excited to be embarking on an overhaul at the centre, but the conditions initially surrounding the planning permission were so complex that starting work would immediately put us in breach of the terms.

“The plans are extensive, and completing them within a year, as the initial permissions required, was simply impossible, so we were unable to progress. We were also concerned by the rigidity of the retail restrictions, which prohibited certain sales from the site.  Chris’ understanding of our situation, and the steps he immediately put in place on our behalf, gave us hope that our efforts had not been in vain.

“The way he dealt with the local authority, explaining what was required and why the existing conditions were causing concerns, was second to none, and we are absolutely thrilled that Malcolm Scott Consultants has been able to secure these variations and allow us to commence with our development,” he added.

Phase one is now complete, which comprised in creating the foundations for the boundary wall which needed to be carried out before the expiry of the permission.

MSC went on to vary other conditions to allow the development to commence within three years, securing the permission for years to come.