Should we shut down our last garden centre

Heres why Cllr Wisdom Da Costa opposes the demolition of our last garden centre

I request that you refuse this application because it will cause significant material harm, as referenced by the NPPF 2019 & decisions at the High Court; Remember the NPPF has been updated to help us prepare for the existential Climate Change and environmental & mental health issues facing us now.

  1. Harm because it is on greenbelt and no Very Special Circumstance has been proposed (P143 requires this)
  2. Increased (doubling?) footfall, journeys and deliveries needed to make the operation commercially viable will cause an intensification of use of the site arising. The of High Court, Childs v First Secretary of State, 18 October 2005) i.e. this intensification becomes a material planning issue that causes harm
  3. The intensification of use will bring greater levels of noise and road traffic & air pollution from out of town traffic (along the A308) which will affect the health and wellbeing of residents in a quiet neighbourhood. Classified as harm under
    • S170e, preventing new and existing development from contributing to, being put at unacceptable risk from, or being adversely affected by, unacceptable levels of soil, air, water or noise pollution
    • S180 Planning policies and decisions should also ensure that new development is appropriate for its location taking into account the likely effects (including cumulative effects) of pollution on health, living conditions and the natural environment, as well as the potential sensitivity of the site or the wider area to impacts that could arise from the development.
  4. The proposal removes a facility for outdoor recreation (P145b b) the provision of appropriate facilities (in connection with the existing use of land or a change of use) for outdoor sport, outdoor recreation)
  5. Harm because it is impoverishing our living conditions in Windsor (contrary to our duty to P180 b) identify and protect tranquil areas)
  6. Harm because it is a change in character of the use of the site (P122)
    • In planning terms, Character is a term relating ….to the appearance of any rural or urban location in terms of its landscape or the layout of streets and open spaces, often giving places their own distinct identity
    • This will erode the distinct identity of this part of Windsor
  7. Currently if you look at the diagrams, there is an area bigger that the building which is covered in flowers and plants
    • By removing these, Harm is caused by destroying food sources for a key element of the ecosystem and biodiversity, namely the insects and pollinators that browse the many plants and trees at the spacious garden centre – insects themselves act to pollinate crops and provide a food source for smaller wildlife
    • Harm because it is reducing biodiversity value through removal of mature trees and and the biodiversity they support (P170, P175, 8)
  8. Harm because it is reducing carbon sequestration value and the ecosystem and biodiversity value through the removal of mature trees (P175, 8)
    • NPPF P170. decisions should contribute to and enhance the natural and local environment by:
      • a) protecting and enhancing sites of biodiversity value
      • b) recognising the wider benefits from natural capital and ecosystem services – on the economy
      • d) minimising impacts on and providing net gains for biodiversity,
  1. Harm because this is judged an unsustainable development by
    • NPPF overarching objectives for Achieving sustainable development include;
    • b) a social objective – to support strong, vibrant and healthy communities
    • c) an environmental objective – protecting and enhancing our natural, environment; including improve biodiversity, using natural resources prudently, minimising pollution,


The planning balance is clearly weighted in favour of refusal.


So I request that you refuse this application.



  • This post is part of the WWRA Councillors regular series of Blogs to inform and empower local residents; as promised in their election leaflet
  • It is also to comply with clause v of the Members Code of Conduct which states, “You must be as open as possible about your decisions and actions and the decisions and actions of your authority and should be prepared to give reasons for those decisions and actions.”
  • The views expressed in this article are not necessarily the views of the West Windsor Residents Association (WWRA).
  • Any errors are unintentional so, I would value you bringing them to my intention so I can correct them. You can Email me