A garden centre is under threat as there are plans to knock it down and build more than 50 affordable homes in its place. 

The Liverpool-based Riverside Housing Association wants to build houses and apartments on land off Chester Road in Great Sutton. 

The site is currently home to Sycamore Park Garden Centre, which has been targeted in the past by housing developers.

A planning application has not yet been submitted to the council, but Riverside have sent letters to residents in the area asking them to review their proposals and contact them with any queries. 

The letter, from Riverside Group development manager Annette Dennett, says: "As part of our ongoing development programme, we are currently in discussions with Cheshire West and Chester Council planning department regarding a proposed scheme on the land known as Sycamore Garden Centre.

"The proposed scheme is for 38 houses and 14 two-bedroom apartments which will be developed for shared ownership and affordable rent. The development will provide a range of much needed new homes for the community."

A Save Sycamore Park Garden Centre group has been started on Facebook. 

A statement from the group says: "Considering there are many plots of empty land across the town that would make more sense for affordable housing, it begs the question why they would want to chose this site? There's no need for people to lose their jobs in order to build housing in the town."

The land is owned by Falkirk firm Klondike & Strykes, the owners of the garden centre. They have been approached for a comment on the plans. 

In 2006, plans for a residential development comprising 60 dwellings at the garden centre site were refused by what was then Ellesmere Port and Neston Borough Council. There were concerns at the time over a number of factors including parking, access, 'loss of employment' at the garden centre and also protected trees in close proximity to the development.