Green-fingered neighbours are celebrating after their petition helped a pet superstore drop their bid to lease Fulham Palace Garden Centre from Prince Charles?s charity.
Pets at Home decided yesterday afternoon (August 19) it would not be replacing the popular garden centre after nearly 2,000 users and nearby pet store owners signed a petition against the decision.
On Wednesday last week when?getwestlondon revealed the plight of The Prince?s Trust owned centre?, only 250 people had signed the petition but by Sunday over 1,500 had signed.
Tessa Darling, who lives opposite and has been leading the campaign, said: ?Prince Charles is a conservationist, I?m sure if he knew Pets at Home was going to lease the centre he would be against it.
?Luckily, this is wonderful news and I am so pleased with the article in getwestlondon as the excellent reporting helped with the success of our campaign.
?Did Pets at Home and The Prince?s Trust really think they could get away with it? They seriously underestimated the people of Fulham.?
According to sources who have seen the e-mail sent yesterday from Dennis Millard, deputy chairman at Pets at Home, one of the main reasons they pulled out was because independent non-executive director of Pets at Home, Amy Stirling, is also The Prince?s Trust?s chief financial officer, as revealed by getwestlondon.
The 4,157 sq ft garden centre is in a conservation area and users and?nearby pet store owners were extremely worried Pets at Home planned to put a car park over the plant area?and said a pet superstore belonged on a trading estate not a beautiful conservation area.
The Prince?s Trust refused to comment on whether Pets at Home was ever an option but confirmed the garden centre will still close at the end of the month as the charity needs to focus on supporting disadvantaged young people into jobs and training.
A spokeswoman said: ?We are currently exploring options for the future of the centre, which is likely to be taken on by another business. As owners of the site, we are committed to working with future tenants to reflect the character of the local surroundings.
?There has been speculation locally that Pets at Home would be taking the lease, but they have confirmed they have no plans to acquire the centre.?