A new chapter is dawning for the beleaguered garden centre at Trotton which finally closed last November. ?It was bought from liquidators by a group of lifelong friends and business partners to reopen it as a ?traditional garden centre?.
Aylings Garden Centre, just off the A272 at Trotton, was run for many years by the Ayling family and Priscilla, who still lives in Midhurst, has been invited to cut the ribbon when it reopens at the start of April under its original name. Aylings was bought from former owner Chris Adam in 2015 by Eco Warrior Resorts and its name to the Maple Ridge Garden Centre.
It applied for permission to demolish the existing garden centre and replace the buildings with a two-storey log cabin, turning it into a ?tourist destination? pulling in local families with added attractions including a petting farm and a special children?s play area and a bakery. But in the face of strong opposition from neighbours, the plans were withdrawn. Trotton parish councillors said although they welcomed the redevelopment, they objected to the design which made it ?too high and intrusive into the landscape of the national park?. Although Eco Earrior Resorts said it was going back to the drawing board to resubmit a new application, it never emerged.
The new owners have formed a fresh Aylings Garden Centre company consisting of six Italian partners, who all live in the Midhurst and Guildford areas. Spokesman Michele Gaudelli said they had all run successful businesses, including a garden nursery, craft businesses and farming, now they are turning their hands to getting the once popular garden centre at Trotton back on track under the original Aylings name.
?The good news is we are the new owners and we have all the right intentions of getting the garden centre back to how it was as a successful business,? said Michele:??At the moment we are tidying it up, cutting back hedges, cleaning and painting and restocking to bring it back to life with all the products you would expect to find in a garden centre.?