Dobbies reduce size by 30%


We received confirmation this week that a full planning application was hand delivered on behalf of Dobbies to the planning office in Macclesfied last Friday. Unfortunately we haven't yet seen the revised application as it has still not been added to the planning portal, however like many local residents we did receive the latest marketing material from Dobbies in today's post.

According to the brochure "As a direct result of your views, we have re-viewed the proposals and made some significant changes." The first of which is that the building has been reduced in size by 30% with some significant design changes being made which include a reduction in the height of the eaves, the introduction of a curved roof and a reduction of the sales area to the rear of the site. Dobbies also state that the distance between the car park and neighbouring properties will be increased significantly and there will be further landscape screening.

Below is an artists impression of the revised proposal and below that is an artists impression of the original proposal for comparison.



Part of the brochure follows a question and answer format, apparently addressing the main concerns raised during the consultation process including how visible the building will be from the road, will it later become a Tesco store, concern that it will be the start of ribbon development and the issue of increased traffic.

If you did not receive a copy of the new Dobbies brochure this can be viewed in full on the Dobbies website.

Like many we are keen to see the revised application and we will be sure to inform you when this application is added to the planning portal.

Do you feel Dobbies have adequately answered the concerns of local residents? Please do share your views regarding the new brochure via the comment form below.

Dobbies, Garden Centres, Garden World , Nether Alderley, Planning Applications


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Jon Williams
Sunday 4th October 2009 at 9:45 am
I have been kept well informed about Dobbies and I can't wait to visit the Garden Centre when built. I was a regular at the old Matthews Garden Centre and it's a very good spot for this.
Just think of the jobs on offer, it will be a welcome to workers that will be unemployed from Woodford (Aerospace)
Marc Asquith
Sunday 4th October 2009 at 9:06 pm
The current local plan protects the line of the new bypass from development. If the council give this application permission then the whole of the bypass is up for grabs and ribbon development can occur all the way from Harden Park to the Frog Lane Roundabout. If this development is so sympathetic and in keeping with the Matthew Nursery move - why are Dobbies not seeking to move on the the site where permission exists? Could it be that there is no room for later expansion?

Dobbies can pick up the Matthews site anytime they like. There is existing permission there. They do not want a small site. This application is nothing more than a foothold from which to develop the green belt. It must be resisted.

Thankfully, it is contrary to the local plan and so is unlikely to gain permission from Cheshire East, however, when Dobbies appeal it will be interesting to see what the Secretary of State has to say.
Steven Cozens
Monday 5th October 2009 at 4:18 pm
The last time I checked, Dobbies is owned by Tesco. I do not believe for one second that this development (too large and unsustainable in my opinion to be a garden centre) will enhance Alderley Edge and will ultimately be 'rescued' by a new Tesco supermarket in an area of natural beauty.

This is my opinion of course, others will disagree because it will create some new jobs in the area. Support local producers and local shops in the area so that Alderley Edge remains a village with local amenities and not just a housing estate with an empty high street.
Geoff Hall
Monday 5th October 2009 at 4:33 pm
I have also received the latest brochure from Dobbies. It's very impressive but I found myself looking at what it doesn't say as much as what it does. It says they have reduced the building size by 30%. So how big is it now? And how does that compare to the old Matthews building? They do not say they have reduced the overall capacity, eg how many parking spaces there will now be. They say they have reduced the height of the roof eaves, but not the overall height - and after the experience with Tesco in Alderley does that mean anything anyway? They say they are creating 120 jobs, but what I think they mean is that they will be employing 120 people - many of whom will be part time. What about the likely job losses at other smaller scale local garden centres and nurseries? This will no doubt be a slick operation with considerable consumer appeal. But at a time when we should be discouraging large scale out of town developments in favour of local businesses - which in this case already exist - it's hard to see why we need this.
Jon Williams
Monday 5th October 2009 at 8:42 pm
This is why Dobbies will get planning permision. See this BBC article.
Jobs. Too many people in this area don't know what unemployment is like, try it, it's hard.
Stewart Dyer
Tuesday 6th October 2009 at 8:59 am
Dobbies (Tesco) and their like do not create jobs. There is only so much money available to spend, and large retailers pride themselves on the high turnover per employees (around £200k at Tesco). Therefore money spent at a Dobbies/Tesco store actually destroys jobs in comparison to that money being spent elsewhere. In addition, many of the jobs are low skill, low pay and part time. Spend your money with local businesses and support the local economy, not the Tesco shareholders and directors!

Tesco's blatant disregard for planning permission is also legendary. The Tesco Extra store at Stockport (Portwood) was built 18,000 sq ft larger (yes 18,000 - just try to imagine it!) than they were given permission for. When this was pointed out to them, they applied for retrospective Planning Permission in the arrogant belief that the council would not dare to refuse them. Would anyone care to bet against them doing the same again?

Are Dobbies/Tesco likely to be trying to build this monstrosity because it is good for the local community, or because it is good for them?
Sarah Williams
Wednesday 28th October 2009 at 2:54 am
I've taken a trip down to Bath to see the latest Dobbies garden centre, and I've got to say it was fabulous! They've been really sympathetic to the area and the place was certainly very busy. They have a "Farm Foodhall" which sources natural, organic and/or local products, which obviously supports the local farmers and economy.

The garden centre cafe was really lovely, too, and offered something a bit different to what I normally see. Plus the development of a Dobbies in Alderley will create several hundred new jobs - something I'm sure we all agree is needed for our area!
Robert Payne
Thursday 29th October 2009 at 8:50 pm
Three points:

1. I entirely agree with what Marc Asquith says. If Dobbies really want to build a garden centre, why don't they take advantage of the existing planning permission for the smaller site ,further South? Because their centre will be a garden centre in name only. They will be selling a wide range of goods that have little or nothing to do with gardening, and even their literature refers to a delicatessen, cookware and gifts. There will also be a general household goods, clothing etc..Their proposals are merely a cloak for an extensive retail operation.

2. To put such an operation at the end of the new bypass is bound to generate a very considerable volume of traffic, which is the last thing that is required. It is significant that they are providing for 324 car park spaces- sufficient for well over 2,000 cars per day, and considerably more parking than in the whole of Alderley Edge.

3. Alderley Edge shops will be the losers.They will find it difficult enough to meet the challenge of the new Tesco in London Road.The Tesco in Dobbies cloathing 2 miles away will be the last straw.
Stewart Dyer
Friday 30th October 2009 at 8:47 am
I would like to recommend that, in the interests of that very topical expression "transparency", those posters who have a vested interest in a discussion about a business, for example employees or future employees, and their family, should be prepared to declare that vested interest. An employee who sings the praises of a commercial enterprise is nothing less than an advertisement.
Win Appleby
Wednesday 4th November 2009 at 8:38 pm
In response to the posts by Jon and Sarah Williams.

Of course, everyone loves a garden centre. The point they are missing is that this proposal is in entirely the wrong place. it is in GREEN BELT!

If we really need another garden centre ( which I dispute, we are more than adequately served already in the area ) then they should find a more suitable site, or why not take over one of the existing garden centres, we hear that most of them are struggling. But that would not suit Dobbies / Tesco purpose. They want to take a green belt site, build a garden centre, then it becomes a brown field site, then it's just a small step to turn it into another giant Tesco. Just like they did in Haslingden.

They are very keen on jobs for the "unemployed". I must say, I haven't noticed a great deal of unemployment in Nether Alderley or Alderley Edge. So if they really want to help the unemployed, maybe they would be better advised looking in Macclesfield or Handforth, where there is a need for jobs. But no that wont do, they already have a massive Tesco in both those places. They like to have them around 5 or 6 miles apart I believe. How convenient Nether Alderley would be.

It is naive to believe that Dobbies Food Hall will sell local produce. It's owned by TESCO ! they may package stuff up to look farm friendly, but everyone knows that Tesco is no friend to the farmer. Quite the reverse.
Martin Reeves
Thursday 5th November 2009 at 9:41 am
Comments are now closed on this particular article. Please provide any comments you wish to make on the proposed Dobbies development in the most recent article on the subject.

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