An "eyesore" garden centre on Green Belt land could be demolished and replaced with houses.

Plans have been submitted to Epping Forest District Council to knock down Crown Hill Garden Centre in Waltham Abbey.

In its place would stand ten one bedroom apartments alongside 13 parking spaces.

They would be contained within a three storey block of flats on land adjacent to four semi-detached houses which have already have planning permission.

Eight of the flats would be affordable and two to be sold on the open market.

The garden centre, which is currently closed but has otherwise been going since the Crown Hill Nursery split in two in 1970, sits on Green Belt land but can claim brownfield status due to its current function.

The report, from ELA Design, reads: "Whilst the overall scale of the proposed development would be slighter greater than the surrounding dwelling houses it would be set off the road to provide an attractive


"The overall design of the building is to a high standard and would not be out of character within the area.

"The existing garden centre site is something of an eyesore and therefore its redevelopment would enhance the overall visual impact in the street scene.

"Each of the proposed flats would have a private terrace or balcony and there would be a small amount of communal green space for the building."

Unconvinced by the application was Waltham Abbey Town councillors.

Its clerk Kathryn Richmond summarised: "The Committee objected the proposed development as it is not in a suitable area.

"The proposed development is to be located on a road that is very out of the way and has no public transport, no local shops, local schools or employment.

"The Planning statement also pointed out that there had been a consultation between the developers and Waltham Abbey Town Council.

"This was not the case."