Garden centre to be turned over to 'luxury' housing

Competition from out of town centres forces closure of Marshment's Garden Centre

A garden centre is to be redeveloped into the site of millions of pounds’ worth of housing because of competition from out-of-town garden retailers. Marshment’s Garden Centre in Burton will close at the end of May after owner Stuart Marshment won an appeal against the council’s refusal of plans for 17 “luxury” houses to be built on the site. Marshment, who is retiring, said: “Selling-up beats working for a living. It gets harder each year. We’ve only got two acres and we’re landlocked, so we can’t expand. There’s not so much room for smaller centres now. You can’t compete unless you’ve got five or six acres and spend £400,000.” He said nearby out-of-town centres Wyevale, Byrkley Park and Bretby Nurseries each ate into his market. “Everyone takes their bit off. Even if all three just take five per cent, that’s 15 per cent gone. “It has got harder this year because of the weather. We were £25,000 down last month.” Marshment said selling as a going concern was not an option as the housing developers could offer much more money — a figure he said ran to seven figures. L The Welsh Development Agency has bought Greendown Garden Centre in Bridgend for an undisclosed sum. The son of joint-owner David Thomas, Nathan Thomas, said the WDA made an offer “we couldn’t refuse”. The site would probably be redeveloped, he added.

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