The Heart of the Shires Shopping Village could be allowed to almost double in size with new garden centre and more retail space

Councillors advised to approve application by planning officer ahead of meeting

Thursday, 28th October 2021, 5:15 pm
Updated Thursday, 28th October 2021, 5:16 pm

The Heart of the Shires Shopping Village's plan to effectively double the size of its Northamptonshire base has been recommended for approval.

The shopping centre on the A5 near Norton wants to build three new buildings for a new garden centre and extra retail space as well as 42 extra parking spaces.

West Northamptonshire Council's Daventry area planning committee has been advised to support the application during its meeting on Wednesday (November 3).

The Heart of the Shires Shopping Village wants to expand

A council officer's report on the scheme reads: "The expansion will benefit the existing rural enterprise without having a negative impact on Daventry town centre or any other local centres.

"There will be some harm to the character and appearance of the locality, by further developing the open countryside.

"The development is compatible with the existing site, and additional conditions need to be imposed to further mitigate the impact of the development, such as additional landscaping as well as the requirement for the cladding of the storage containers.

"It is therefore considered that the harm will be reduced and given its support an existing business the impacts can be made acceptable.

"Overall the proposal is considered to be acceptable and in accordance with the development plan."

The Heart of the Shires wants to build a two-storey garden centre in the style agricultural Dutch barn, a U-shaped, single storey building for three retail units and another single storey building for another shop.

Norton Parish Council supports the proposal but West Northamptonshire Council's planning policy officer has concerns about its potential impact on Daventry town centre.

However, the planning officer believes it would not be unacceptable as The Heart of the Shires offers a niche market at an existing site.