MAJOR plans to create a Tropical Wings style zoo at a garden centre have been thrown out by council bosses.

Owners of the former Hilltop Nursery, in Dowsett Lane, Ramsden Heath submitted the exciting plans for a small animal, reptile and bird zoo to the delight of residents.

But after Chelmsford City Council refused the plans, family firm H.E Smith and Son Ltd admitted they are unlikely to revise plans and resubmit them.

Council bosses raised concerns about a lack of details and the impact on green belt land.

Paul Smith, 50, director. said without the zoo it may not be financially possible to run the site as a garden centre.

He said: “It seems Chelmsford City Council was not keen on the idea for the zoo and without some joint venture it will make it very difficult for the garden centre to re-open and be profitable.

“So I suppose we are now looking for new ideas on how to make the best use of the site which the council won’t scupper.

“It looks unlikely that we will retry and resubmit the plans as there were too many objections to overcome at this stage, unless someone steps forward with a large donation to push things on again, unfortunately our resources are limited.”

If approved the zoo would have been open seven days a week to families.

At least seven new jobs would have been created.

The site bosses also previously said if they could make the zoo a success it would give them the incentive and motivation to turn the former garden centre into a top nursery.

Council bosses gave six reasons for blocking the plans for the new zoo at the garden centre.

The decision notes says: “The application fails to provide clear and comprehensive details of the proposed development.

“Insufficient information has been provided regarding the amount and type of repairs and or alterations which would be required to the existing buildings on the site and the proposed enclosures which are referred to in the application documents but are not detailed on the plans.”