Confusion over Easter Sunday law

Questions raised over how UK's largest garden centre opened on Easter Sunday.

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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