Sidmothian James sets sights on building garden centre in Honiton

PUBLISHED: 12:48 04 July 2017 | UPDATED: 13:01 04 July 2017

James Trevett with his garden centre plan. Ref mhh 27 17TI 6433. Picture: Terry Ife

James Trevett with his garden centre plan. Ref mhh 27 17TI 6433. Picture: Terry Ife

Archant

The former Sidmouth Garden Centre manager is working with Combe Estate to secure planning permission to build on the former Meadow View Nursery site in Gittisham.

Perspective drawings of the proposed garden centre at Honiton.Perspective drawings of the proposed garden centre at Honiton.

A Sidmouth businessman has revealed his plans to build a new garden centre in Honiton.

Former Sidmouth Garden Centre manager James Trevett has been working with Combe Estate for nearly a year before submitting the proposals to East Devon District Council.

The 35-year-old was approached by the estate and asked if he was interested in looking at the former Meadow View Nursery site in Gittisham.

The site, which is south of the road from Honiton to Gittisham, has been used as a commercial nursery for the last 20 years.

Perspective drawings of the proposed garden centre at Honiton.Perspective drawings of the proposed garden centre at Honiton.

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

If granted approval, the centre could be built as soon as February 2018, with Mr Trevett earmarking a six-month build time.

Dad-of-one James said: “It was very run down and at the time it didn’t fill me with that much excitement but after a little bit of homework and research we came up with the idea that we could get a full nursery running.”

He said the business would work with local suppliers and look to build relationships within the community.

Mr Trevett said:“Combe Estate ethos is it wants to be family based and very local. Their idea is they want to give some back into the town.

“There was a call for a garden centre in Honiton, there is a genuine gap there. I want people to walk in here asking ‘how do I get rid of this in the garden?’ and the first person they see is going to be able to answer it.

“Hontion has a great passion for gardening and in the area around it there are lot of passionate gardeners. I am looking forward to being part of that.”

Currently, the plans do not include a coffee shop as part of the centre’s build, but Mr Trevett has not ruled out the possibility of building one at a later date.

He added: “The idea of a coffee shop is lovely but not part of the initial set up. Maybe if demand is there later, but to begin with I want to get the nursery side right.”

Members of Honiton Town Council’s planning committee debated the plans tonight (Tuesday) before it is put before district planners.

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