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Planners defer decision on charity’s development plan

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PLANNING chiefs at Warrington have put off a decision on an application by charity group the Walton Lea Partnership to allow talks to take place between the group and nearby residents.
The charity is seeking retrospective permission to erect a greenhouse and other buildings at the Walton Lea Nursery in Chester Road, Walton.
They also want to change the use of existing buildings to a tea room and retail space.
Residents of nearby cottages have objected to the scheme on the grounds of traffic congestion on the Walton Lea access road and sewage pollution into neighbouring gardens.
Planning officers are recommending the borough council’s development management committee to approve the scheme despite it being in the Green Belt.
They say the principle of development in the Green Belt is acceptable and the living conditions of neighbours will be protected. They also believe there will be adequate parking space and no unacceptable impact on the local highway network.
The site is mainly used as a horticultural education centre to support the charity, which provides education and personal development training for adults with learning difficulties through horticulture, woodwork and the recycling of furniture and bicycles.
Much of the site is within a walled garden which, although not listed, has a historic link with the Walton Estate.
A number of buildings outside the walled garden are to be removed, lessening the impact of the development on the openness of the Green Belt.
The committee is anxious to approve the proposals because of the good work the charity has carried out on the site for more than 20 years.
But they have deferred a decision in the hope agreement can be reached between the charity and neighbours over the opening hours of the tea room and retail area.

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