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Bridport centre's curvaceous £1m restaurant takes shape
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Bridport centre's curvaceous £1m restaurant takes shape

A new £1 million botanical-style restaurant at Groves Garden Centre at Bridport, Dorset is now just a few months away from completion.


Malcolm Scott Consultants’ plans for the structure ensured that it boasted an eye-catching design while remaining in-keeping with the designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in which it sits.


The restaurant is being built by Smiemens Projecten of Holland, working to detailed drawings prepared by MSC’s architectural technologist Alexandra Ginés Heiwegen.


MSC’s permission for the 176-cover facility and other site developments had to overcome a number of specific considerations in preparing the concept designs.


Chris Primett of MSC, said: “Groves Garden Centre is located within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, so we had to ensure – and reassure planning officers – that our proposed structure wouldn’t have a negative impact on that.


“There were also strict height guidelines in place - the Environment Agency had instructed the centre to raise the internal floor level of its coffee shop to a minimum of 4.3m AOD above the existing ground level – meaning that our final design was going to be tall in order to fulfil those requirements.


“In other words, it had to be both eye-catching and sympathetic to its surroundings,” he explained.



The finished designs have been created to catch the eyes of the thousands of drivers and passengers travelling along the A35  - located just 10 metres away - and will utilise curved glass panes to complement and reflect the surrounding area.


Chris said: “We felt that a curved glasshouse would convey a horticultural message, both in the way the surrounding tees are reflected in the glazing and the fact that diners can see through it to the landscape beyond.”


Charlie Groves, of Groves Garden Centre, said: “We’re really pleased with the progress being made at the site now – the restaurant is really coming together and I can see it taking shape as planned.

 “Catering is a huge revenue stream for garden centres, and with our existing coffee shop being such an important resource for us, we were very keen to enhance our customer offering while being sympathetic to the local surroundings.


“We’re satisfied that the finished building will do just that, and be a great attraction for locals when it’s unveiled in May next year,” he added.

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