Confidence makes welcome return to the garden centre construction sector

Business development manager of builders Hodges highlights projects entering the pipeline after a good spring.

On the up: confidence can be everything in the construction game - image: Country Market
On the up: confidence can be everything in the construction game - image: Country Market

Confidence has returned to the garden centre construction sector, says Graeme Jones, the business development manager of building firm, Hodges.

"We have lots in the pipeline. Confidence is returning this year after that bad period."

The Midlands-based builder is set to begin work at Garsons in Surrey for its main phase two expansion in July. Garsons will have a new restaurant, plant market and shop.

Hodges is also completing a new restaurant and shop at Carrs Farm Garden centre on The Wirral. Both were planned by Malcolm Scott Consultants.

Vear has completed Country Market in Bordon, Hampshire, which has now re-opened after a fire in 2010. The centre is a hybrid grower, farm shop, garden centre. Pleydell Smithyman was planning consultant.

Vear has also worked on Lechlade for The Garden Centre Group, constructing space for concessions including Bonmarche and Laithwaite's. TGCG plans to revamp dozens more stores.

Meanwhile, Groves Nurseries in Dorset has won planning permission for a new restaurant, shop expansion and canopies. The centre is in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Bridport.

Managing director Charlie Groves said the plan was to build a 100-seater restaurant to replace the current 45-seater similar to Dunbar garden centre in a greenhouse style.

It could extend to 200 seats and should be open by 2016, which will be Groves' 150th anniversary.

He said the build start was planned for mid-2015, adding that a better year in 2014 had given more confidence to go ahead with the work: "This year in particular has helped. It's been a good spring and we've been doing well compared to the last couple years, so it's nice to have that confidence boost. It's about weather-proofing, the same old thing."

Monkton Elm in Somerset is also about to build a 350-seat restaurant.

Construction Other approvals

- Knights Garden Centre in Chelsham has permission for a new restaurant.

- Poplars in Bedfordshire plans a car park extension.

- Millets Farm in Abingdon has permission for a play barn and outdoor recreation area.

- Ashtead Park in Surrey plans a new restaurant. Malcolm Scott Consultants is planner in all four cases.

- Hilltop Garden Centre plans a cafe/indoor play area, Garson Titchfield an extension and Klondyke has several renovation plans, with Pleydell Smithyman planning consultant for these centres.

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