New plan for former Keynsham garden centre site

A FRESH bid is being made to bring a disused garden centre on the outskirts of Keynsham back into use.

A planning application has been submitted for class B8 use – for storage or distribution – at the former Whitegate Nurseries site at Stockwood Hill.

An architect’s statement with the application made to Bath and North East Somerset Council says: “There clearly is a need to bring this site back into use as opposed to having it empty and derelict.

“A solution is to use the site and the largest building for a B8 use which retains the existing building and does not alter the site in any way.

“It is also proposed to over-clad the roof and walls of the building. The proposal will have no greater impact on the green belt.”

A planning application to turn sheds and greenhouses at the site into housing was submitted in 2021.

But it was rejected by B&NES Council, which was concerned that that the greenhouses might not be able to support the proposed double-glazing and new roofs.

The conversion of the greenhouses would essentially require them to be rebuilt, the council argued, and would therefore constitute the building of new homes in a countryside area, contrary to council policies.

The council was also concerned about the potential impact on biodiversity and trees, as well as access for pedestrians and cyclists.

The developer appealed but a planning inspector upheld the council’s decision.

The deadline on comments for the latest application, by Whitegate Bristol Ltd, is December 6. The planning reference is 23/04182/FUL.