Garden centre Easter Sunday trading legislation has been brought into question after Wyevale’s Bridgemere Garden World opened for business on 8 April.
The Sunday Trading Act 1994 requires large shops over 280sq m, including garden centres, to close on Easter Sunday. But a Wyevale representative said Bridgemere in Shropshire opened because it was classified as a nursery. The law allows no exemptions for nurseries although there is one for farm shops to sell farm-produced goods.
He added: “It’s a travesty that the rules are as they are. They could open and just sell plants — the whole thing’s very murky legally.”
The local Trading Standards office said enforcement is the local authority’s responsibility but the Crewe & Nantwich Borough Council could not clarify how Bridgemere could open.
HTA commercial services director Andrew Maxted said: “Gardeners are frustrated. The trade is frustrated. It’s an anomaly in 21st-century Britain.”
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