Petersham Nurseries has won its battle with Richmond Council which has granted the south west London-based restaurant and garden centre its mixed-use planning application.
The settlement is the culmination of a four-year dispute with the council that started when Petersham Nurseries applied for permanent permission as a mixed-use facility to formally legitimise its business on the site.
In December 2007, Richmond Council granted the site a 12-month temporary licence for continued mixed use as a garden centre and restaurant, which was subject to increased reductions in the number of visitors travelling there by car.
The venue implemented a Green Travel Plan including the closure of its car park and issued proposals to the council for more sustainable transport solutions including a bicycle network, a local travel network and a local commuter ferry service.
Petersham Nurseries Café, which opened in 2004 and is open for lunch only five days a week, said that in the 12 months to December 2008, it reduced the number of visitors travelling to the venue by car by 25%, with all deliveries now taking place during off-peak hours.
Richmond Council acknowledged the site had achieved impressive results over the past year.
"Overall the expected results of the Green Travel Plan are in excess of that expected to be achieved over a year…These reductions in car trips and increases in sustainable modes (walking, cycling, public transport) are normally achieved through a five-year implementation and actions," it said in a statement.
By Kerstin Kühn
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