Hare Hatch Sheeplands given permission to open new garden shop

Planning inspector rules in favour of popular garden centre and grants three-year temporary licence

JUST IN time for the growing season, a popular local nursery is reopening its plant shop.

On Thursday, March 14, planning officers agreed that Hare Hatch Sheeplands could relaunch its garden centre.

It has been given a three-year temporary licence to turn parts of a glasshouse and an outdoor area back into retail use, almost two years after it was forced to close following legal action by Wokingham Borough Council.

A jubilant Rob Scott is now building up stock in the currently empty buildings.

Under the terms of his licence, he can only sell gardening related items including plants, tools, composts, fertilisers, landscaping and design items, seeds, bulbs, containers and items such as netting and allotment accessories.

Families will also be pleased to learn that Sheeplands will also be able to welcome Father Christmas in December as the judgment allows Mr Scott to build a Santa’s grotto and stock Christmas trees.

“Thank you to everyone who has kept coming to Sheeplands and supported us,” he told The Wokingham Paper.

“It’s been 22 months since the injunction. That’s the time span we’ve been waiting.

“It will be a garden shop for garden-related products.

“We want to get it open ‘yesterday’ to help our customers get ready for the growing season. We already have compost in stock and ready to sell. We know as soon as the weather changes, our customers will be out buying. We’ll be ready for them.”

And with one eye on putting the legal action behind him, Mr Scott has pledged to work with the council going forward.

“There are items we can sell in our farm shop that we can’t sell in our garden shop and we will stick to that. For example, we can’t sell logs or kindling in the garden shop,” he said.

“Going forward, we want to work with Wokingham Borough Council to ensure that we have a permanent community centre.

“For us it’s all about sustainability and engagement.”

For more on this see next Thursday’s Wokingham Paper

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Phil Creighton

Editor of The Wokingham Paper, and has worked in local journalism for more than 20 years including the Wokingham Times, Bracknell Standard and Reading Evening Post. He's also written for computer magazines, The Baptist Times and, to his delight and probably not yours, interviewed several Doctor Whos.

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