Planning experts at Malcolm Scott Consultants have successfully secured permission for the site development and improved customer facilities at a Rochford garden centre located within the Green Belt.
The business worked closely with Scott Bird and the team at Scott’s of Southend to prepare a growth plan for the business, identifying key challenges and the necessary solutions to provide an enhanced customer experience at the site.
The business submitted detailed to facilitate an extension to the facilities to benefit customers and staff, and enhanced retail areas to encourage customer visitor experience and longevity.
Andrew Burton, of Malcolm Scott, said: “Scott’s of Southend has really established itself in recent years, and the garden centre itself covers approximately 2.85 acres of the total 11.83-acre site, with the remaining area being horticultural land. Further to a previous site development being implemented in 2019, the owner Scott was keen to address concerns impacting on the centre’s success and submit proposals to enhance the site further for visitors. The additional proposals addressed the business’ intention to develop the site further in order to improve the customer experience at the site and aid its future growth.
“Garden centre retail is an incredibly competitive field, and in the case of Scott’s of Southend the potential to give their customers more was key to this development. This development helps to accommodate their ever growing footfall, and enhanced retail areas to enable the business to showcase a wider range of stock to meet and exceed customer expectations gives the centre a real destination feel.
“While local authorities are understandably cautious about approving plans for development within the Green Belt, we have an excellent track record with securing such permissions through careful consideration to the surrounding area. We were confident that the very nature of this rural business and the objectives that these improvements sought to achieve would be aligned with the district council officers’ vision for what was considered as appropriate development, and we are delighted that the plans have been approved,” he added.
Scott Bird, owner of Scott’s of Southend, said: “The whole team is thrilled that Rochford District Council has given the green light to our vision and that we can drive forward with our plans to maximise our customer experience, thereby giving them more reasons to visit, a diverse range of products, and a choice of ways to shop. We wanted to capitalise on the success of the business’ in recent years, and this approved development allows us to do that. We have made some exciting changes in the past 3 years and the working relationship with Andrew and Malcolm Scott have been so rewarding.
“At present, we employ 37 full- and part-time staff, we aim to grow this by a further 10 staff in the coming years, so it’s vital that we are able to accommodate projected staff growth within these developments. We look forward to delivering an upgraded visitor experience in the near future,” he added.