As bids roll in for the Wyevale estate, rumours within the garden industry suggest that developers who had agreed to buy the Woodcote Green site a few weeks ago in order to build houses have now pulled out of the deal.
According to one source, the developer in question pulled the plug on its bid when it discovered it would be unable to build on the land and that the business would have to be sold as a going concern.
Wyevale would not confirm the news but issued a statement to DIY Week, which read: “While we’re not able to discuss specific centres, we can confirm that we have received a wide range of competitive bids for individual garden centres, groups of garden centres and the business as a whole, as part of the ongoing sales process. We are continuing to evaluate these bids and to hold positive discussions with group buyers, regional operators and local entrepreneurs.”
Woodcote Green Garden Centre, which was bought by Wyevale in January 2016, is up for sale with Christie & Co, with its on-site nursery being offered separately via Quinton Edwards.
Offers for the freehold garden centre business, which is located on Woodmansterne Lane in Wallington, Surrey, are being invited in the region of £35million. The centre sits on a 21.33acre site with car parking for 660 cars. It was offered for sale in May, when Wyevale Garden Centres put up its 145 garden centre network.
Initially a deadline for offers was set at June 26, with further bidding then invited until September 7. There is said to have been a lot of interest in the garden centre, which has seen consistent sales growth over the past five years and posted a turnover of £16.2million in 2016, along with a 21.5% uplift in pre-tax profit to £1.6million.
Meanwhile, Woodcote Green’s wholesale nursery business is being sold separately via Quinton Edwards. The property, which sits immediately to the front of the garden centre business, occupies a 1.7-acre site and comprises around 44,000sq ft of glasshouse space and further ancillary buildings.
Quinton Edwards explained that the site benefits from exactly the same planning consent as the garden centre, allowing a prospective buyer the opportunity to refurbish the existing glasshouses in a similar way to Woodcote Green and set up a garden centre and restaurant.
The agent added: “This is a unique opportunity and offers are invited for the freehold interest of the land and buildings with full vacant possession.”