Go ahead granted for new Honiton garden centre

A new garden centre will be built in Honiton after district planners gave the green light to an application submitted earlier this year.

Sidmouth businessman James Trevett was revealed as the driving force behind the new store, which will be built on the former Meadow View Nursery site in Gittisham.

Mr Trevett said: “This has been a year and a half in the making since me and Justin Laceslles (Combe Estate manager) first say down and flirted with the idea of what we could do with the site.

“The process has been an eye-opener on how detailed the application had to be. I am absolutely over the moon that it has been given the go-ahead.”

Once built, the centre will offer 1,044 sq m of retail space, covered and open sales areas and 43 parking spaces – including four for disabled customers. Mr Trevett said the centre could be built as soon as March 2018, having earmarked a six-month build time. The 36 year old dad-of-one said: “A target date of April 1 next year would be achievable but opening on March 1 would be even better.

“I am going to one of the biggest garden shows in the UK next week to start ordering stock ahead of our opening date.”

Prior to submitting his application, Mr Trevett worked with Combe Estate for nearly a year before submitting the proposals to East Devon District Council.

The former manager of Sidmouth Garden Centre was approached by the estate if he was interested in looking at the former Meadow View Nursery site in Gittisham.

And he is under no illusions at how demanding the task ahead of him is.

“It is a big build and a big store,” Mr Trevett said. “I am bound to make mistakes along the way, but this will be a place for gardners to come in to access our staff’s knowledge and have their questions answered.

“Realistically, I am going to be starting with seven members of staff.”

The garden centre will offer 1,044 sq m of retail space, covered and open sales areas and 43 parking spaces – including four for disabled customers.

It will not feature a restaurant, as James said he wants the centre to be purely for gardening clientele.

He added: “We are a garden centre first and foremost – there are 101 places to go for coffee.

“A restaurant and farm shop and all other things associated with a garden centre could come at a later date, but for now it’s all about the garden centre.”

Justin Lascelles said: “We were extremely pleased the council granted consent for this project, which will allow continued diversification of the Estate into new business streams.”

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