Planning permission has been sought for the redevelopment of part of a garden centre site in the green belt.

Applicant British Garden Centres, which acquired Upminster Garden Centre in Nags Head Lane in 2019, wants to demolish a cottage – used as a staff office – and replace it with a retail building.

The proposed building would be single storey and no higher than the mature trees that surround the site.

The roof would have solar panels installed on its south-facing pitch.

The plans also feature a new entrance/exit between the centre and the car park, which would be reconfigured and resurfaced with four new car parking spaces and two additional disabled bays.

The proposal’s 640 sqm floorspace was reduced by around 33 per cent on the basis of pre-application feedback.

If approved, the redevelopment – which the applicant claims will create 10 new jobs – would begin in September 2023, for completion in March 2024.