Friday, 12 August 2022

Companies deny green belt breach

SEVEN businesses at a Wargrave garden centre have pleaded not guilty to breaching planning laws.

Garden Trends, Granite Transformations, Quality Garden Buildings, Bell Antiques, Petstop, Deep End Pools and Fish Glorious Fish, which were all based at Hare Hatch Sheeplands, are accused of breaching an enforcement notice issued by Wokingham Borough Council.

The centre has been in a dispute with the council since 2012, when owner Rob Scott was first accused of breaching the green belt and extending a café and play area unlawfully.

The council said he only had planning permission to operate as a plant nursery, café and farm shop.

Mr Scott appealed the notice but earlier this year the High Court ruled in favour of the council and granted an injunction against the garden centre.

This means it had to comply with the enforcement notice and cease any unlawful activities by May 1.

Granite Transformations, Bell Antiques, Quality Garden Buildings and Petstop have all now left the site, while Deep End Pools has relocated to the nearby Wyevale garden centre and Garden Trends has requested more time to leave.

Paul Wheston, of Fish Glorious Fish, has moved into the existing farm shop.

Mr Scott and the owners of the businesses appeared at Reading Crown Court on Tuesday to enter their pleas.

A trial date was set for March 5 next year.

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