THE demolition of an ageing garden centre and the construction of new, modern facilities can now begin after plans were given the go ahead.

British Garden Centres applied to Cheshire West and Chester Council for planning permission to knock down the existing buildings at Tarporley Garden Centre near Cotebrook.

The proposals would see new purpose-built premises replace them while also taking up less space than the current buildings, allowing for an extension to the car park.

A café and soft play area are also planned for the new garden centre off Forest Road, which will surround a central courtyard.

Permission for the application was granted by the council on August 24.

A covering letter, written by WYG on behalf of British Garden Centres as part of the application, says: "The garden centre, which has been in operation for more than 30 years, developed organically over time and the buildings were developed for purposes which they no longer serve.

"The buildings are old and some are in a poor state of repair. While they are structurally sound, they are prone to leaks and have poor and inefficient heating and cooling systems.

"The proposals seek to demolish the existing buildings and replace them with new, modern premises.

"The new building would take up less space on the site than the existing ones and have been designed to meet modern operational requirements and consumer expectations of a garden centre."

The number of jobs at the new site is also expected to almost double from 36 to 70.

On the site, the car parking layout will be completely reconfigured and extended. An overflow car park is planned for a piece of land adjacent to the existing site which is to be bought by the centre.

There will be 233 standard, 10 disabled, six parent and child and four e-charging parking spaces.

In recommending the plans for approval, a council officer said: "The proposed development amounts to the replacement of an existing retail use within the open countryside.

"The proposal would not cause harm the character and appearance of the open countryside.

"Subject to conditions, the proposed development would not have a detrimental impact in respect of the highway network, residential amenity flood risk or protected species and trees.

"Having regard to the above, it is considered that the proposed development would accord with the relevant provisions of the development plan."

You can view the plans by searching 20/03820/FUL on the council's planning portal.