Dobbies overcomes opposition from Facebook group to obtain local permission for Ashford garden centre

Dobbies Garden Centres has welcomed a decision by local councillors to grant permission for a new £8m garden centre in Ashford, Kent. The project awaits final planning approval from South East's Government Office.

Artist drawing of Dobbies, Ashford Image: Dobbies
Artist drawing of Dobbies, Ashford Image: Dobbies

A 2,000-member Facebook group opposed the development, which will be situated 500 metres from the independent Bybrook Barn garden centre.

The development will bring 120 full and part-time jobs to Eureka Leisure Park (located off Junction 9 of the M20). Dobbies will run formal in-house training programmes, so that 50% of staff will have specific horticultural knowledge.
Dobbies property director Stuart Wright said: "We're delighted to be a step closer to opening a Dobbies Garden World in Ashford and will hopefully conclude the planning process successfully in due course.  Following the finalisation, we plan to open our doors to customers in Ashford in 2011 and we look forward to planning for construction to start on site."

Wright added: "We want to thank the individuals involved in our Ashford planning application which will allow us to bring a new generation of garden centre to customers in Ashford. We will be investing some £8m in the project, which will create 120 new jobs for the community, all of which in turn will have a significant affect on the local economy for many years to come."
Dobbies will sell 10,000 plants and host a farm foodhall offering locally-grown produce from Kent suppliers, as well as a restaurant.

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