Distribution centre plan for rural Preston nursery site

Rural spot: The former garden nursery and inset, the planning application
Rural spot: The former garden nursery and inset, the planning application
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Plans have been lodged to tear down a former garden nursery in rural Preston and build a two-storey distribution centre.

Thomas Moss Fruit and Veg has applied to develop the land of the former Oak Nurseries in Goosnargh, with landscaping, parking and modified access.

Planning bosses at Preston Council have recommended the application for approval, and neighbours say it will promote local food distribution and create jobs.

The proposals are to build a storage and distribution facility for the handling of fruit and vegetables on land at Pudding Pie Nook Lane, at the former nursery site and to the south of it. Plans involve widening the road and improving access to the site, as well as clearing the former nursery buildings.

A report to the planning committee states: “The applicant is proposing to re-locate their current fruit and vegetable distribution business from a smaller site (Dean Farm Warehouse) which is on the west side of Pudding Pie Nook Lane to this site.

“The proposed new site is required to allow the business to grow and to improve its facilities.

“The current business employs 16 staff and this would be increased by a further ten staff as part of the proposed scheme.

“The applicant states that the business receives the raw products (fruit and vegetables) from various local farms and suppliers and then prepares, packages and distributes the produce to local schools, businesses and shops.”

It adds: “The proposed development represents a rural enterprise that would appropriately assist in diversifying the rural economy.”

The report includes a response from Whittingham Parish Council, and states: “In principle, the application is supported as it would promote local food distribution and create new jobs to the area, but concerns are expressed that it would generate additional traffic in terms of employee and business-related vehicles.”

One letter of objection was also received, as well as one letter mainly in support.

A response from the National Grid said there was a major accident hazard pipeline in the vicinity of the development, and the applicant should contact National Grid prior to any works commencing.