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Permission sought for first East Anglian branch of Dobbies

Following the announcement that approval has been granted for a York branch, it has been revealed that Lynn is in line for at least 120 new jobs if planning permission is granted for the first Dobbies Garden World development in East Anglia.

Dobbies, part of the Tesco group, wants to create an £8 million environmentally-friendly garden centre as part of the mixed use redevelopment planned for the former Campbell’s factory site at Hardwick Road.

It would be the first time that Dobbies, one of the UK’s leading garden centre businesses with 32 stores, would be trading from the same joint-site as a Tesco superstore.

A public exhibition about the proposed site at Campbell’s Meadow will be held at the existing Tesco superstore, off Hardwick Road, next Tuesday, from 2pm to 8pm.

Half the 120 full and part-time jobs created would be in the garden centre, offering 10,000-plus plants, shrubs and trees and a specialist aquatics department.

The other half would be in a 350-seater restaurant, serving freshly-prepared meals and home baking, within a farm food hall offering Norfolk-grown produce.

Stuart Wright, director of property at Dobbies, said: “Our King’s Lynn Garden World would bring more than 120 jobs to the area and will encourage an environmentally-friendly approach to 21st century living where all the family can enjoy planting and growing.

“We’re also excited by the prospect of locating in the same joint-site as a Tesco supermarket. We are hoping to help boost the local economy in a sustainable way by providing jobs for local people.

“We will also be working with local suppliers to fill our farm food hall shelves, feature on the menu of our restaurant and help provide a range of gardening and plant products.”

He added: “Our King’s Lynn development will have a sustainable timber frame structure, use natural materials and adopt a sensitive design approach.

“We will incorporate innovative, environmentally-friendly and sustainable features – such as energy efficient lighting systems and extensive rainwater recycling – in keeping with our commitment to use local and global resources as efficiently as possible.”

Dobbies likes to work with local communities to provide gardening demonstrations, “grow your own” sessions, and horticultural and landscaping initiatives.

It also has the Dobbies Little Seedlings Club, which encourages children to take an interest in gardening.

The Dobbies project team will be at next week’s exhibition to answer any queries. Its nearest store, at Peterborough, opened last August.

When Tesco got the go-ahead for the £40 million redevelopment of its superstore and the former Campbell’s site in November, 2010, it said it was looking to create about 1,000 local jobs.

Other aspects may include a hotel, car showroom, industrial premises and office space.

Source : Lynn News

20 February 2012
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