Ten more jobs could be created by expansion

Plans to tear down a former garden nursery at Goosnargh and build a two-storey distribution centre look set to be approved on Monday, if councillors agree with officers.

Thomas Moss Fruit and Veg has applied to develop land at the former Oak Nurseries off Whittingham Lane with landscaping, parking and modified access.

Officers have recommended the city’s planning committee approve the plans 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.

The road would need to be widened to improve access to the site and the former nursery buildings would need to be cleared.

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 business would operate similarly to its current operation, involving a mainly 24 hour operation apart from a short period of closure from 5pm Saturday to 5am Sunday. Vehicles would arrive from 5am onwards and depart from 6am, returning about midday.

Whittingham Parish Council agrees in principle, but is concerned it would generate additional traffic in terms of employee and business-related vehicles.

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