Gardener in eight year planning battle

Byron Pagin, of Hurst Lane Nurseries, stands infront of some of his work at The Crown Hotel, Bawtry, whilst he his trying to get planning permission to expand his business. Picture: Andrew Roe
Byron Pagin, of Hurst Lane Nurseries, stands infront of some of his work at The Crown Hotel, Bawtry, whilst he his trying to get planning permission to expand his business. Picture: Andrew Roe

A BUSINESSMAN wanting to expand his hanging basket firm and create jobs says he has been scuppered by eight years of battling for a planning application.

Byron Pagin, owner of Hurst Lane Nurseries in Auckley, wants to build greenhouses on a neighbouring, four-acre, piece of land he owns, which would grow up to 20,000 blooms for hanging basket displays around the world.

But eight years after taking out a second mortgage on his home to buy the land, the 48-year-old is still locked in a battle with planners at Doncaster Council, who say access to the site would be dangerous.

He said: “People say there are no jobs out there in Doncaster, but I want to be able to give people jobs.

“I have been told it is an issue with access to the land and that putting in traffic lights would cost me three-quarters of a million pounds, but when Peel Holdings wanted to install one to the airport it did not cost that much.”

Mr Pagin’s plans for the site are to initially have a nursery for growing plants for his basket displays, but eventually to create a public garden centre, creating dozens of new jobs.

Mr Pagin claims following a meeting between himself, his planning consultant and Doncaster Council he was told the £400 application he had submitted more than 30-months ago had been put in a drawer after the member of staff dealing with it had left the authority.

His firm has shown huge growth over the past few years and he now has a three year waiting list and clients contacting him from as far away as Dubai, but is now having to turn work away.

But Doncaster Council say they are actually waiting on a response from Mr Pagin before they can take the process further.

Peter Dale, Director of Regeneration and Environment at Doncaster Council, said: “We endeavour to process all planning applications in a timely manner, however for applications such as this one where alterations to the highway are necessary the process can take longer.

“Having said that, our records show that we have been awaiting a response from Mr Pagin’s agent since sending him some further information on 26 June this year.

“Should Mr Pagin wish to progress the matter our planning team would be happy to help him further.“

Doncaster Council claims the date they have for receiving the latest planning application from Mr Pagin was in February last year.