AN APPLICATION for an extension to a garden centre has been submitted to Barrow Borough Council.

The plan for Charnley's, near Dalton, would provide the business with more internal sales space – in lieu of external sales space – and more storage room. 

A planning statement submitted as part of the application says the proposal is aiming to combat supply challenges brought about as a result of the pandemic. 

"Factory closures due to Covid outbreaks and the majority of shipping containers being allocated to the mass supply of personal protective equipment have caused worldwide issues and left the applicant with severe stock issues throughout 2020/21, which in turn led to redundancies, as was the case with many businesses," says the statement.

"In order to combat these issues and create a stable supply chain through agreement with suppliers, the new approach is to buy in mass bulk and have the products delivered some six months before the relevant season begins.

"This, however, has led to huge storage problems, as all existing floor space at the application site is allocated to sales, with five storage units now being rented across Furness to provide the necessary storage space.

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"This has created issues in many areas, such as the cost and carbon footprint implications.

"The additional costs associated with upfront supply, insurances, logistics, equipment, rent, rates and the extra cost of shipping from warehouses to the application site all result in a situation that is unworkable and non-sustainable, with the end consumer being heavily affected."

The statement says the 'continued shortage of container shipping, the current energy crisis, and inflation' have also exacerbated the problem.

The project would see a building of 215 sq metres that is currently used as a garden item sales area demolished.

A steel-framed building with an area of 556 sq metres would be built in the same location.

Two polytunnels currently used for the sale of plants would be reduced in size to accommodate the new building.

"No increase in sales space is proposed as the proposed building will provide for indoor sales space on lieu of external sales space.

"There will, however, be an increase in dedicated storage space by 556 sq metres.

"The proposed building is to be finished externally in materials to match those already used on the existing buildings."