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Garden centre boss steps up campaign

PUBLISHED: 13:31 16 August 2001 | UPDATED: 10:26 03 March 2010

A BUSINESSMAN has taken his fight to build a garden centre in Kesgrave to the next level.

Despite heavy opposition from residents in the town, Chris Ling is determined to carry out his venture on land opposite St Olaves Road on the A1214.

A BUSINESSMAN has taken his fight to build a garden centre in Kesgrave to the next level.

Despite heavy opposition from residents in the town, Chris Ling is determined to carry out his venture on land opposite St Olaves Road on the A1214.

Two applications have already been turned down, but Mr Ling is not giving up and a hearing will now be held for him to appeal against the rejection.

It is set for 10am on November 13 at the Community Centre in Kesgrave.

Hearings are supposed to be fairly informal and, according to guidelines from the Royal Town Planning Institute, are suitable where the development is small scale or where there is little or no third party interest.

A spokesman/woman representing the town council can speak as can people with property in the vicinity at the planning inspector's discretion.

The garden centre project has become Kesgrave's biggest planning issue for many years, with petitions being set up and hundreds of letters, both supporting and objecting to the application, being received by Suffolk Coastal District Council.

In total more than 2,000 people responded to the last consultation process and the applications were turned down by Suffolk Coastal on the grounds that another garden centre is not needed in the area and that it would be a blot on the landscape.

Residents also launched a campaign, vowing to fight Mr Ling all the way as they said his customers would add to the traffic chaos already affecting the area, as well as having an environmental impact on the land through the removal of an ancient hedgerow.

Mr Ling who already has a gardening store at Martlesham Heath claimed that the business would only generate up to 440 daily trips, but new figures released by Suffolk County Council revealed that there could be more than 2,000.

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