Backers speak out about Rowlands Castle garden centre

The team passes the Nelson statue in Old Portsmouth. Picture: Keith Woodland (171022-0023)

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A PROPOSED garden centre at the centre of a row will blend comfortably into its rural surroundings, it was said today.

Agents for Keydell Nurseries – which is proposing to move from Horndean to Whichers Gate Road, Rowlands Castle – said the scheme had many merits.

It comes as a public inquiry will be held in Rowlands Castle to decide the fate of the plan, which is being fought against by residents over concerns about it ruining the rural gateway to the village.

Caroline Jezeph, agent for the development, said: ‘Mays Coppice Farm is relatively close to the existing Keydell premises, being only 2.6 miles to the south.

‘The edge of settlement location just to the south of Rowlands Castle meets the council’s planning policy for garden centres.

‘The proposed new architect-designed centre is energy efficient and much more sustainable than the current premises.’

She added: ‘The garden centre would be in a rural setting and so to mitigate visual impact the scheme is accompanied by an extensive landscaping scheme.’

The inquiry is due to take place in the spring.