Council planners say garden centre owners - who featured on BBC2 series- have failed to justify building a home in the countryside

Oak Garden Centre, London Road, Chatteris New Year Winter Market,Alex Polizzi was there from The Fix

Oak Garden Centre, London Road, Chatteris New Year Winter Market,Alex Polizzi was there from The Fixer. She has been working there for a while re-jigging the business for a BBC show. Left: David White, Alex Polizzi and Lynn White owners of the Oak garden centre. - Credit: Archant

A BUSINESS plan drawn up by David White to support a new home on a field next to a his garden centre has been -dismissed by senior planners at Fenland Council.

Proposed site of new home for Oak Garden Centre owners

Proposed site of new home for Oak Garden Centre owners - Credit: Archant

They argue his proposals offer “no business need” for the home which he wants to build east of 134 London Road and outside of the development boundaries for Chatteris.

Despite winning support from Council Leader Alan Melton – who told an earlier meeting that Chatteris councillors favoured new housing in London Road- officers concluded no justification had been put forward.

In June the plan by Mr White was deferred to enable the Oak Garden centre owner to “justify the functional and financial needs” of a house on the site.

The plan had been to sell an existing house on the garden centre site and build a more economical house on nearby land.


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Mr White’s advisers, Accountancy Solutions, claim that with the sale of the existing house and a new house nearby they will be able to reduce costs. This would mean ploughing more money into the business to retain its viability.

But planners dismissed the report and said it gave little detail of the “functional or financial needs” of the site and given that security is already provided by a house on site anyway.

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They also claimed that on the evidence they had seen “it is unlikely that there would be significant receipts to inject directly into the business”.

Councillors will hear that Cllr Melton insists “local members would like to see this area of London Road developed and precedents have been set with the granting of other permissions along London Road.”

Last year Cllr Melton stepped in to successfully plead for Robert German – son of a former councillor- to be allowed to build a four bedroom house at 136 London Road.

In 2011 he persuaded the planning committee to agree to a bungalow at Ferry Farm, London Road.

It meant that Mr and Mrs Joe Fuller could build a retirement home next to the carpet tile recycling business run by their only daughter Jo.

* Oak Garden Centre is run by Brad White after DJ’s, the garden centre he and other family members helped his father David White run, went into liquidation in 2012. Earlier this year it featured on the BBC 2 programme The Fixer, in which Alex Polizzi helps businesses that are having a hard time

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