Notcutts pulls out of a development with Waitrose at Bagshot

Notcutts has decided not to open a new garden store in Bagshot, Surrey on the site of their former garden centre which closed in April.

Notcutts/Waitrose Bagshot planned store
Notcutts/Waitrose Bagshot planned store

Planning permission had been granted in February 2014 for a £14m redevelopment to comprise a food store, pre-let to Waitrose, and adjoining retail unit. Notcutts has carried out further financial feasibility studies and "regrettably" concluded that a garden store would not be viable.

The firm met with Surrey Heath Borough Council to inform them of this decision and will shortly begin a marketing campaign to find alternative occupiers for this retail unit. All previous staff have been informed, it said.

The company said the timing was wrong for the move and it would stretch financial resources coming soon after redevelopment of its Tunbridge Wells centre.

Notcutts had a plan to redevelop its Maidstone centre turned down last week, in an £85m Land Securities development that would also have included a Waitrose.

Notcutts chief operating officer Andrew Staff said: "We are naturally disappointed not to be able to continue to trade in the area but Bagshot is well served by some fantastic local garden centres and the opening of the Waitrose store in 2015 will ensure local employment is boosted well beyond the number that we were able to employ."

On Maidstone, he added: "We understand and respect the council's decision not to go ahead with the Newnham Court planning proposals. At some stage, we would love to expand our presence in Maidstone, but in the meantime we are confident that we can continue to cater for the gardening and home needs of our customers in the area. Close by our Tunbridge Wells development has been extremely successful, creating new jobs and opportunities in the area, so we look forward to re-visiting the plans for Maidstone when the time is right."

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