A PLAN to allow sheds and conservatories to be sold from the back of a garden centre looks set to be refused because it has been deemed damaging to the green belt by council planners.

A planning application by World of Smile has asked for permission to display a number of sheds and conservatories on a small patch of land at the rear of Worcester Garden Centre off Droitwich Road.

It follows a rejected application which asked for more permanent conservatory structures to be used as a display area but that was refused by Worcester City Council's planning committee in 2016 as it was deemed inappropriate and harmful to green belt land.

The new application would make use of moveable sheds which would be rearranged as sales are made.

A report ,to be discussed by the city council's planning committee on Thursday (March 21), said the development would be harmful to the green belt.

Green belt policy has been put in place to prevent urban sprawl by keeping land permanently open. City council planners feel allowing the 16 metre by 20 metre site would reduce the openness of the fields around the garden centre.

The application was originally submitted in 2017 but long discussions between World of Smile - a separate company to the one that owns the garden centre - and city council planners over the application.

The council has also been waiting for the outcome of the green belt review in the South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP).

Under national planning guidance and parts of the SWDP, applications on green belt land can only be approved under 'very exceptional circumstances' and only if they are deemed suitable and sustainable.

Council planners said development on the land would be "inappropriate" and "by definition, harmful" and as a result the application should be refused.

The planning report also said the application would "harm the openness and integrity" of the green belt the effect of which did not outweigh the 'very special circumstances' which would allow the plan to be approved.

The report goes on to say that the benefits of allowing a business on the site should carry "little weight" when assessing the application's damage to green belt land.