Cafe at Combe Garden Centre in Honiton, Devon

On behalf of our client, the Combe Estate, Bell Cornwell has helped secure planning permission for a restaurant at Combe Garden Centre, Hayne Lane, Honiton.

The garden centre opened in December 2018 and is a locally run business providing a much-needed garden centre for Honiton and an outlet for the production of items from the Combe Estate. The restaurant is an important part of the business moving forward, with the proposals offering obvious benefits, including additional local employment opportunities.

On the face of it, most garden centres offer some form of café as part of their business, and ordinarily planning permission would not be required for this form of development as a café or restaurant within a large retail unit is normally accepted as being ancillary to the main retail function of the premises.

However, when East Devon District Council originally granted permission for the garden centre, a restrictive condition was attached which limited the range of goods that could be sold from the premises as the site is not in a town centre location. This meant permission was required for the café facility.

In view of this, it was highly possible that the Local Planning Authority would look to take a heavy-handed approach with the proposal. However, as part of our instruction, Bell Cornwell helped advise on planning strategy advising on the most expedient application route and reducing the scope of the supporting information required. The necessary details were submitted to enable a speedy and positive determination of the application, which received the support of both planning officers and members of East Devon District Council’s Planning Committee.

It is anticipated that the restaurant will open in Summer 2019.

For more information on this project please contact Associate, Dan Rogers.

Combe Estate
Local Authority
East Devon District Council
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