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Family-run Scunthorpe garden centre to close

Published: 11 October 2013
The Stephen H Smith Garden Centre in Scunthorpe will close at the end of October after a developer bought the site to build a new retail park.
Christopher Smith and his partner in the business, his father, Stephen Smith, were approached by a developer in 2011 who applied for planning permission to demolish the site and build a retail park, with an M&S store being the anchor. The plans have been challenged and come under judicial review since they were made.

Mr Smith told diyweek.net that the process had gone on for a long time. "People have approached us ever since we bought the site in 1986, so you can get a bit sceptical about these things. I didn't think anything will come of it," he said.

15 members of staff are being made redundant and Mr Smith said that all employees have been fully informed about developments in the site purchase when it first came about.

"They've been fully aware since 2011 and anybody who didn't like the idea has left since then. We've been very open with them all the way through and have discussed redundancy packages with everyone," he said. Mr Smith added that each employee is being offered a "good" redundancy package.

The last day of trading at the centre will be October 27 and there is already a half price sale on to help shift the stock. Anything remaining will be moved to one of the company's other two garden centres in Otley or Harden, near Bingley, both in West Yorkshire.

Despite losing the Scunthorpe site, and always looking at potential new sites, the company has no immediate plans to relocate or find an alternative centre.

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