A PLAN to allow sheds to be sold from the back of a garden centre was refused by council planners.

A planning application by World of Smile had asked for council permission to display a number of sheds – which are already there – on a small patch of land at the rear of Worcester Garden Centre off Droitwich Road.

The plan split Worcester City Council’s planning committee at a meeting on Thursday (March 21) with some councillors feeling common sense suggested the display should be allowed.

Councillor Alan Amos said it was a “travesty” the committee was going to reject the display.

He said: “We have a very full agenda and the only one marked for refusal is one for a garden centre which is doing no harm, minding its own business, providing a service and providing jobs.

“This is a business that is causing no harm and providing work.”

Cllr Amos said he was concerned the planning committee was starting to look like it was anti-jobs and anti-employment having given employment land over to housing developers and recently refusing a new KFC in The Cross.

He added: “We are actually saying take it down, get rid of the business and get rid of the jobs.”

Cllr Pat Agar, vice chairman of the planning committee, said the whole point of the policies were to protect the openness of the green belt.

She said: “If this applicant had provided evidence of exceptional or very special circumstances for building there I wouldn’t have had a problem but they haven’t.”

Planning chiefs said they had given the applicant the opportunity to persuade them the display was appropriate but the applicant did not provide enough details to show the ‘very exceptional circumstances’ required to overturn the refusal for building on green belt land.

Cllr Mike Johnson said refusing the plan “fled against common sense” and asked why the council had allowed the garden centre to be built on the green belt but was against this plan.

Cllr Roger Berry objected strongly to the plan.

He said: “Should we be allowing somebody to fly completely against the rules and do what they like?

“If it is, we should stamp hard on them. I’m afraid the answer is no.

“It’s inappropriate, they’ve acted irresponsibly and they shall pay the price I’m afraid.”

Cllr Amos put forward a proposal to approve the shed display but that was rejected by six votes to four.

The main proposal was then rejected by six votes to four.