A COUNCIL-owned garden nursery near Redcar could be closed to make way for a village development.

Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council confirmed this week that it is reviewing the future of Kirkleatham Nursery, in Kirkleatham Village, and looking at alternative provision to sell its plants.

The nursery grows few of its plants, buying in 85pc from external suppliers.

Coun Dave Fitzpatrick, cabinet member for culture, leisure and tourism, said: "We are aware there was a plan to close it three years ago, but that option was never taken up.

"Plans for the village are gathering pace. including the publication of a draft master plan which already highlights the possibility of developing the nursery site.

"If we are to go ahead with the closure of the nursery, it is imperative to make several points crystal clear - there will be no job losses, our highly-skilled horticulturists will still provide us with a valuable resource in both experience and passing on their knowledge and there will be no loss of service.

"Preserving the service can be achieved by looking at the possibility of using places like Upsall Hall, where there are training opportunities for disadvantaged groups and individuals."