Gardeners Paradise near Canterbury in planning row fight for survival

by | Aug 12, 2020 | News | 0 comments

Gardeners Paradise

A 98-year-old garden centre struck by tragedy says its future could be thrown into doubt if it loses a planning appeal over the storage of motor homes and caravans on part of its five-acre site.

The family-run Gardeners Paradise in Stodmarsh has been using the plot to generate extra income for a decade, but last year was told it needed planning permission for the venture.

It applied retrospectively to Canterbury City Council but its application was denied.

Now, owners Celia Hanks and Roy Chandler have appealed to the planning inspectorate in a bid to have the decision overturned and are urging customers to support them.

They claim the storage facility, which is for more than 90 vehicles, has very little impact on the local surroundings, and the extra income has saved the nursery from closure several times.

They add that a failed appeal could jeopardise the future of the garden centre, which was hit by tragedy last April when Mrs Hanks’ brother, Nigel, who helped manage the centre, took his own life.

In flyers being left for customers to pick up, Mrs Hanks says: “Over the last year or so we have taken over the management of our business again following difficult personal circumstances, and the income from the caravan storage is ensuring we can pay our staff and improve the premises while we once again become a profitable company.

“Storage for caravans in east Kent is very limited and we feel we provide a great local service with minimal negative impact and have a lot of support for.

“It would be very sad to have to close our doors because of a very small minority taking issue with this part of our business.”

The planning application was objected to by the Littlebourne and Stodmarsh Roads Community Association, which complained that the narrow and already busy Stodmarsh Road was “completely unsuitable” for regular caravan and motor home activity to and from the site.

The city council refused the retrospective application for three years further operation of the storage facility on the grounds it was unjustified loss of agricultural land, was urbanisation of the character of rural landscape and was in conflict with the authority’s Local Plan.

more latest news ➡

GCA Grow recognised at 2024 Totara Awards

GCA GROW platform takes silver at Totara Awards

The Garden Centre Association’s Garden Retail Online Workshops (GROW) e-Learning platform was presented with a ‘Highly Commended’ at the recent Totara Awards. GROW received the accolade in the ‘Best Extended Enterprise Solution’ category and was given a special...

57% of businesses expect never to be cashless

57% of businesses expect to never be fully cashless

Cash is here to stay, with nearly 6-in-10 businesses (57%) expecting to never be entirely cashless despite the widespread adoption of electronic, card and mobile payments. This is according to The Cash Chasm, a new research report from global cash management...

Squire's steady financial results

Squire’s charts a steady course

‘Charting a steady course in marginally calmer waters’ probably best describes Squire’s performance in their financial year ending 31 July 2023, after the somewhat rolling seas of the Covid and immediate post Covid era. This year’s results were, as anticipated, a...

Robert Cook joins Dobbies

Dobbies appoints Robert Cook as board advisor

Renowned hospitality professional, Robert Cook, has joined Dobbies as a board advisor to support the strategic development of its restaurant business. A seasoned hospitality CEO, Robert has led a number of the UK’s hospitality and leisure businesses...

GCA Barometer of Trade figures 'very good'

March BoT figures show a ‘very strong month’ says GCA

The Barometer of Trade (BoT) figures from the Garden Centre Association (GCA) for March 2024 have been revealed and are ‘very strong’ when compared with the same month last year. According to data submitted by the organisation’s member garden centres, none of the...

Rajesh Gupta joins DObbies

Dobbies Garden Centres appoints Rajesh Gupta

Dobbies further strengthens its senior leadership team with the appointment of Rajesh Gupta as Strategy and Business Development Director. Rajesh qualified as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG and has 20 years’ experience in retail working in strategy, business...

Marcus Eyles leaves Dobbies

Marcus Eyles departs Dobbies after seven years

Marcus Eyles has decided to move on from his role as Horticulture Director at Dobbies to pursue a new chapter in his illustrious 40-year career. Marcus joined Dobbies, the UK’s leading garden centre retailer, in 2017 as Head of Online, before progressing to...

Read GCR's latest edition!

Subscribe ToThe Wednesday Word

Subscribe To
The Wednesday Word


Get all the latest news, events & more straight to your inbox every Wednesday.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This