A PLAN to extend a Moreton garden centre has been passed despite fears it is "becoming into a shopping complex."

Fosseway Garden Centre in Stow Road will now have a soft play area, a new events space building, a new office and staff facilities as well as a mezzanine storage area.

The centre will also have a storage building, an outdoor sales area, a bigger car park and a new store entrance.

Moreton Town Council told Cotswold District Council: "There are concerns that products for sale will replicate those sold in town and will subsequently take trade away from the High Street."

Other commenters on the website, including Andrew Burrows said: "The garden centre is becoming a shopping complex for most goods now and this is unfair on the tradesmen and women operating in the centre of town.

"The garden centre has an unfair advantage as it seems to be developing essentially farm land for commercial purposes.

"The town centre can't compete with that."

Jon Goodchild added: "It seems that the Fosseway Garden centre want to replicate all of the business activities along the High St with the competitive advantage that their customers can park.

"What next - an onsite Charity shop? We are already concerned how Aldi will affect our trade, it wont take much more to make the whole town centre economically nonviable for all of the local businesses.

"The road gets clogged up at the best of times, surely it would be preferable to see the impact of the Aldi traffic before any further considerations are given to another part of what is fast becoming an out of town retail park?"

Charles Ward commented: "On highway access; there are already problems with the existing volume of traffic trying to cross the 'Foss' and enter these premises.

"More traffic will obviously add further congestion to an already over-loaded Fossway.

"A good deal of money has just been spent to 'dissuade' drivers from crossing the 'Foss' in Moreton's high street.

"This was to prevent accidents and delays, which would now occur at the entrance to the proposed building.

"On visual impact to an AONB; the existing buildings are already an eyesore on entering Moreton from the south, any further building can only exacerbate the impact. Permission for a supermarket south of Moreton was rejected partly on the visual impact it would create on entering the town.

"On loss of amenity; Moreton already has excellent stores in the high street selling all the items that the proposer wishes to stock.

"The existing business is trading as a 'Garden Centre', but already stocks many items that would be hard to connect with gardening. The proposer is clearly trying to move into the 'out of town mall' market.

"On over development; please see all the above, this development has crept repeatedly over the years."