A CONTROVERSIAL proposal to bulldoze a popular Bromsgrove garden centre and cafe and replace it with 11 homes will go before planners on Monday, July 1.
The application would see all the current buildings on the Burcot Garden Centre site in Alcester Road demolished.
Bromsgrove District Council planning officers in their report have recommended delegated powers be granted so the scheme can be approved, subject to several conditions.
Among them are that three of the 11 homes are affordable and that Section 106 agreements for local facilities and infrastructure also form part of the plan.
Officers have requested contributions of £32,285.44 for highways improvements, £33,000 towards enhancing at Lickey End Recreation ground and £575.08 for refuse and re-cycling bins.
The developers must also provide a contribution of £18,679 towards Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust.
There were 30 letters of objection expressing concerns about a number of issues, including the significant adverse impact on the green belt, that very special circumstances were not met to justify building in the green belt, the loss of the popular business, loss of jobs, increase in traffic and the fact it would change the character of the village.
Some claimed there would be an increase of noise and light at night, that the design of the properties was poor and that it was tantamount to ‘overdevelopment’.
Burcot Village Hall Committee (BVHC) held a public consultation in March and expressed fears that the increase in the number of village properties, which equated to 13 per cent, would threaten the rural character of Burcot, threaten the green belt and lead to a loss of a community resource (the garden centre and cafe).
It also expressed concerns about additional traffic and road safety issues.
There were 17 letters supporting the proposal, including the need for new housing, claims it improves the appearance of the site, the fact Blackwell First School would be able to take new pupils, that it is sustainable and that the garden centre was run down and there were better ones nearby.
The Conservation Officer said whilst there was no objection to the principle of replacing the garden centre as none of the structures were of architectural merit, there were concerns about the setting of all the houses behind a service road off the main road, which would ‘be at odds with the character of Burcot’.
He also raise concerns about the choice of roofing and materials should be chosen in keeping with other buildings in the area.
Lickey and Blackwell Parish Council, whilst it acknowledged the application was outside the parish boundary, expressed its sadness of the loss of the business and raised concerns about the highways infrastructure, in particular the access from Pikes Pool Lane.
The planning meeting starts at 6pm on Monday.