PLANS to extend a garden centre have been approved by councillors.

Charnley's Home and Garden Centre put forward proposals to extend its site outside Dalton to allow for increased storage space.

The plans said 556 sq metres of additional storage and 341 sq metres of additional retail space would be created, facilitated by the reduction in size of two existing polytunnels.

It would allow the business to store products ahead of the festive season amid uncertainty over supply chains following the pandemic.

Ahead of a meeting of Barrow Council's planning committee, the proposal was recommended for approval by planning officer Barry Jesson.

He said the scale and design of the proposed two-storey extension was "in keeping" with the rest of Charnley's and would be built using matching materials to another two-storey section at the southern end of the site.

Cumbria County Council's highways department initially objected to the proposal, expressing concern over "inadequate parking capacity".

"A parking statement and plan was subsequently provided to better demonstrate the impact on the car park capacity," said Mr Jesson.

The county council later said that the submitted details were acceptable.

Mr Jesson concluded that the benefits to the business "outweigh any low-level visual harm" and that approval of the proposal would enable Charnley's "to adapt to changing circumstances, which should help safeguard employment and continue to benefit the local economy".

Planning manager Jason Hipkiss told members of the planning committee: "It's got an expanding customer base. They've done a number of extensions in the recent past.

"Post-Covid the supply chains are a lot more difficult to control so what Charnley's is doing is buying stuff early, particularly for the Christmas season and storing it in this new space that has been created."

Councillor Les Hall said he "still had worries" about parking in the area.

That plans were approved by the committee.