The planned expansion of a popular garden centre has got the go-ahead following a vote by councillors.

Rosebourne Garden Centre, located on Amesbury Road in Weyhill, was given the green light to expand its glazed canopy to cover a greater area of plants outside, protecting customers and goods from the weather.

The plans were recommended for approval by a planning officer ahead of the meeting, with Emma Jones saying the plan “would integrate, respect and complement the character of the area.”

The plans were then voted through by councillors.

Councillors on the Northern Area Planning Committee met on July 15 to consider the application, which was made by the owners of the site, Rosebourne Ltd.

The application had been referred to the committee due to Test Valley Borough Council’s (TVBC) Member and Officer Interests Protocol, because Councillor Phil Lashbrook, the ward member for Bellinger, had a personal interest in the application, having had “extensive dealings with the directors of Rosebourne and the applicant.”

As a result, he left the meeting before debate of the application began.

The plans proposed that an additional open sided canopy be constructed onto the existing one, cover an area currently used for outdoor plant sales. This would occupy around 615 square metres, and be constructed of similar materials to the existing structure.

Rosebourne said that the extra space was needed due to the impact of the past 12 months, where “supply chain problems” had led to them ordering more stock, which needs to be protected from wind and rain for a longer period of time.

The garden centre’s café also has an outdoor area under the existing canopy, with Rosebourne saying “more customers who want to take refreshments wish to sit outside in the fresh air rather than inside in the coffee shop.”

There had been no objections from TVBC’s departments, or from the local parish council, on the plans. Officers had recommended them for approval ahead of the meeting, subject to a number of requirements, including biodiversity enhancements and approval of lighting the canopy.

Following consideration, councillors voted the plans through. Development of the site must now take place within the next three years.