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110 new jobs if plans for new garden centre in rural village are approved

PUBLISHED: 07:02 15 November 2019 | UPDATED: 10:02 15 November 2019

The Elveden Estate Restaurant and Shops.

The Elveden Estate Restaurant and Shops.

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More than 100 jobs will be created if plans for a new garden centre are approved.

Elveden Estate Restaurant and cafe bar. Photo:Sonya Duncan Copy: For: EDP Norfolk Mag EDP pics © 2009 (01603) 772434Elveden Estate Restaurant and cafe bar. Photo:Sonya Duncan Copy: For: EDP Norfolk Mag EDP pics © 2009 (01603) 772434

Elveden Estate, in Suffolk, has lodged plans with West Suffolk Council to build a garden centre, with replacement farm shop and restaurant, within its walled garden along with an extension of its car park.

Michael Douglas, from Elveden Estate, said that the centre will boost the economy in the surrounding area.

He said: "Elveden village is already a visitor attraction and destination for retail and leisure activities that helps to support the Estate and benefit the rural economy.

"The application proposals are designed to build upon the heritage of the Estate through the provision of an attractive garden centre facility that will complement the existing on-site retail and leisure uses.

Elveden Estate Shops and Restaurant
Photo:Sonya Duncan
Copy:
For: Lets Talk
EDP pics © 2009
(01603) 772434                               Elveden Estate Shops and Restaurant Photo:Sonya Duncan Copy: For: Lets Talk EDP pics © 2009 (01603) 772434

"Blue Diamond is the proposed operator of the garden centre and will sell a comprehensive range of garden goods and related home wares and accessories."

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The site is located at the eastern edge of the village, at the courtyard access road to Rectory Cottages.

Documents on West Suffolk Council's planning site state there are currently 47 employees working at the existing farm shop and restaurant, which would be transferred to the new centre.

Elveden estate , near Thetford. Steve AdamsElveden estate , near Thetford. Steve Adams

The proposed site would also generate a further 110 part-time and full-time employment opportunities for people in nearby areas.

Along with the extension of its current parking facilitates which would increase to 394 car parking spaces.

Mr Douglas said: "The new centre will provide an increase in the number of jobs in the village.

"It will be served by a landscaped parking area which will include facilities for buses, cycle and motorbike parking as well as purpose-designed car parking spaces for wheelchair users, families and electric vehicles."

"The landscaping scheme will also provide in tree-planting and the installation of bird-boxes and invertebrate boxes to enhance the ecological value of the site."

Despite concerns raised about the impact on nearby garden centres in neighbouring towns, including Thetford Garden Centre, Elveden Estate have said that they have been required to demonstrate that the proposed development would not have a negative impact on any town centre.

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