B&M wins battle to build garden centre next door to Preston store

A discount chain has won its fight to open a fully-stocked garden centre next to one of its stores in Preston.

Saturday, 28th August 2021, 9:28 am
The B&M store in Preston where a garden centre is planned.

B&M successfully overturned a council decision restricting what it could sell in an outdoor area adjacent to its supermarket on Ringway.

The council allowed the garden centre plan earlier this year, but only if the company agreed to devote 85 per cent of the garden centre for the sale of just plants, trees and shrubs.

B&M dug in and argued the condition was too limiting for other gardening products. It threatened to abandon the scheme altogether unless it was removed.

Now planning chiefs have looked again at the application and decided to lift the restriction, allowing the company to stock a full range of horticultural products, tools and equipment as well as bulbs, seeds, plants, trees and shrubs.

B&M originally applied for planning permission last year for a 748 square metre fenced off outdoor area. The garden centre, to be sited to the right of the store's frontage, will mean the loss of 23 spaces in the car park.

The company said the project would create a number of jobs and the city council gave it the nod in October, with conditions.

But B&M returned to the council in July this year to say it was unwilling to go ahead with the garden centre unless one of the council's conditions limiting non-plant sales to just 15 per cent was not removed.

A building surveyor representing the discount store company told planning officers: "B&M are currently not prepared to continue with the development (which will create quite a few jobs in the area) because of condition 4 applied to the planning permission which states that 85 per cent plant stock is required."

The store is now expected to go ahead with the garden centre now the condition has been removed.