After receiving hundreds of plaudits from customers staff at St Peters Garden Centre in Worcester were left in tears after Wychavon District Council served a Prohibition Notice on the business following the re-opening of their food hall and pet departments.
Will Blake and his team re-opened just the food hall and pet areas of the garden centre last week after being given the go-ahead from their local trading standards office.
The re-opening gained hundreds of welcome comments from customers with much praise being lauded about the Social Distancing measures implemented. See the video below.
However, during the week the Environmental Health Authority of Wychavon District Council, which includes Trading Standards, decided because St Peters main business was as a garden centre then they could not open and trade as just a food retailer, citing the Coronavirus Health Protection regulations.
Despite leveraging the legal assistance of the GCA, Will Blake and his team were unable to stop the council serving the Prohibition Notice and as a result the extremely disappointed team were told on Thursday evening that they would not be able to open on Friday or over the weekend.
"Yesterday we had one of our best trading days," explained Will, "our click and collect and delivery service was starting to pick up, but they told us click and collect is not allowed either.
"We've screened off all other departments of the garden centre and every customer was briefed personally on arrival as to what they were able to buy and what we were not selling in store.
"And all the while we have people trading around us, B&M, The Range, supermarkets, all selling plants and we know there are other garden centres around the country open and trading.with a smaller food offering than us.
"Let's hope some good news comes on Sunday night as we have a butchery full of stock which needs selling fast!"