Pinterest Google+
Thorngrove shop
The existing Thorngrove shop – www.thorngrovegardencentre.co.uk

Councillors in Gillingham have supported plans for the Thorngrove garden centre to build a new shop and café on its popular site.

The backing from members of the town council’s planning committee for Thorngove to demolish the existing shop and store and put up a new two-storey building came despite misgiving as to the ‘sustainability’ of the plans and whether they were ‘sympathetic’ to the setting.

Councillor Barry Von Clemens told the online meeting on November 9 that the scheme was a ‘great idea’. He said: ‘Thorngove supplies not only plants but a wonderful service to its service users and I wish them every luck.’

There was concern expressed about the height of the new structure but Councillor Keith Wareham said it was no higher than the existing barn. ‘The existing barns … are tatty and ropey to say the least, so I see it as an overall improvement,’ he added.

However, Councillor Roger Weeks said that while he was ‘one hundred percent’ behind the work that Thorngrove did, he had doubts about this particular application.

‘I feel the proposal is extremely unsympathetic to its surroundings. It’s going to be big, it’s going to be built of modern materials,’ he told fellow councillors.

He also pointed to the fact that the heating would be in the roof space which was not the most economic way of heating. ‘And I don’t see anything else which is sustainable about this project,’ Councillor Weeks added. (See comments below.)

But his proposal to recommend refusal of the plans was rejected and councillors voted by 9 to 2 votes to support the application.

However, they also voted for a tree preservation order to be put on an old pine tree at the entrance, after hearing that there had been some discussion about cutting it down to widen the entrance.

Previous post

Plans unveiled to develop land next to Colesbrook for 'Purns Mill Legacy Project'

Next post

Witness appeal following burglary at hair salon in Shaftesbury

1 Comment

  1. Steve White
    17 November 2020 at 10:55 am — Reply

    Good morning
    I would like to clarify what appears to be some confusion regarding the sustainability of the project at Thorngrove. There are no plans to locate heating in the roof space. The initial design of the building and it’s roof is to make maximum use of its south facing aspect. So that we have the maximum square meterage for solar voltaic panels, which will provide light, heat and power to the whole building. We are in fact hoping that we produce a surplus that can be used to reduce our consumption in other areas of our operations. This is just one of our current plans to reduce our carbon footprint and what we consume. Employ My Ability and Thorngrove Garden Centre focus is the training of young people, so we hope to do all we can to protect their futures.
    If I can, I would like to thank Gillingham Town Council for supporting the project and for the support they have shown over the last three years.
    Kind regards,
    Steve White
    Managing Director
    Employ My Ability (Thorngrove Garden Centre)

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.