Scottish retailer at centre of dispute over range of stock

Future of Mackenzie & Cruickshank at risk following council cut back ruling on the sale of non-garden goods

Managers at a Scottish garden centre have warned that the future of the 42-employee business is at risk. This follows a council ruling that cuts back on the sale of non-garden goods. The Mackenzie & Cruickshank centre, which is based at Forres in Morayshire, opened last October on an understanding from Moray Council that only garden-related items would be sold at the site. But now the council is set to take enforcement action after finding up to 60 per cent of retail floor space is being used for non garden-related goods. Councillors say the range of goods at the centre could affect the vitality of town-centre businesses. Owner Peter Wilson is set to fight the case, perhaps as far as the Scottish Executive, arguing the definition of garden-related items is unclear and the sale of other goods is necessary to make the business viable year round. However, Moray Council has turned down his application to sell 80 per cent garden items between February and September. Roger Guigno, owner of Windy Willows garden centre in South Bedfordshire, has given up his planning battle and become a nursery after trading for seven years without permission to sell a wider range of gardening goods.

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