PLANS have been submitted to demolish a family-run garden centre in Bradfield Southend and replace it with houses.
Glenvale Nurseries, which is currently owned and run by Helen and Duncan Varley, was established as a retail and trade garden centre more than 23 years ago, and has been selling a wide range of products, including plants, trees and compost, since 1993.
But Berkshire-based developer Charlesgate Homes Ltd has now put in an application to knock it down.
The proposal is to demolish the existing garden centre-related buildings and double garage associated with adjoining property Oak Lodge and create a small development of detached, custom-build houses with access off a private driveway.
In its application, the developer says: “The current owners of Glenvale Nurseries purchased the garden centre 12 years ago but has seen a sharp decline in trade over the last five to six years which has had a huge impact in turnover to the point the current owners are finding it continually difficult to viably run it as a business.
“Mr and Mrs Varley have ploughed continuous amounts of their own money in to try and support the garden centre but due to the location and market trends it has come to a point where the garden centre will need to close.”
It adds: “The current owners have run the current business since 2004 and you will see from the attached accounts that it is quite simply not viable to run this as a garden centre any longer and the only reason it has traded as long as is due to the current owners using their own personal savings to support the business.
“Other commercial businesses have been considered for this brownfield site but due to its close proximity to housing on all boundaries this would limit what sorts of commercial business can be run from here.
“To redevelop a brownfield site appears to be the most logical solution, bearing in mind the close proximity to existing houses.”
The proposed homes would be four-bedroom houses with two to three bathrooms, car ports and off-street parking for at least three cars.