Published on 2 - May - 2012
Olympic fears for Gorse Hill NurseryWhile many retailers are looking for a boost in sales from the upcoming London Olympics, a garden centre in Kent is expecting its turnover to take a hammering.
Gorse Hill Nursery, near Brands Hatch, will be virtually cut off between September 3 to 8, as the road it is on is closed for the Paralympics road race, taking place at the racing track and surrounding areas. The major A20 through Kent will also be closed on June 19 for a training day.
"It's going to be terrible," owner Thomas Dalligan told DIY Week. "It's going to cost us money.
"They don't know what they're doing," he said. "I've been told that the one-way system they're putting in and the tow-away zone are illegal. And, if you tell the security that you're going to the garden centre they have to let you through - even if you're a terrorist."
Mr Dalligan's is not the only business that will be hit. He says there are four business parks in the area which will also be affected. One company that will feel the effect, he says, is a specialist golfing centre. "If you want to go and get measured up for new clubs and can't go to that centre, you go somewhere else instead. If you're happy with the other centre, you'll go back there again."
He's sought compensation from LOCOG (the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games), which has merely passed the buck with his enquiry to GOE (The Government Olympic Executive).
How much will it cost Gorse Hill? Mr Dalligan can't say but he points out that about 80% of his business is passing trade. "There was a man came in the other day and spent £2,000 on conifers. If he couldn't come here because of the Paralympics, he'd have gone somewhere else. We'd have lost the £2,000 and possibly a customer for life if he'd gone to another nearby garden centre.
And Mr Dalligan doubts that Paralympians will be popping in for a pot plant or that sports fans from around the globe will be dropping by for compost.
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