Stewarts Garden Centre at Broomhill has received planning approval for a major redevelopment of the centre that was originally built in the mid-seventies. Martin Stewart, managing director of the family owned group of horticultural businesses, says that he is delighted that the proposed developmentof an oak structured restaurant, coffee lounge and new staff and public facilities designed by Southampton based Plum Architects have been welcomed by planners.
“We are fortunate that we are trusted to be good neighbours in this very rural and attractive corner of Dorset. The expansion is not to develop just another giant centre, in fact the footprint of the new building only slightly exceeds the current structure. We aim to create a more intimate, friendly and interesting destination for anyone keen on horticulture and to offer some convenience for supplies to local people,” says Martin Stewart.
Key features for the centre will include professionally run educational training facilities for horticultural and crafts training for groups and planned talks and demonstrations. The current commercial nursery will also be updated with new buildings that will allow access to the public to view the businesses’ ‘home grown’ plants. The popular animal area enjoyed by children to see some of the livestock owned by the Stewarts will remain a feature.
The passion for horticulture has been in the Stewarts family for eight generations. The business can be traced back to 1742. Stewarts claim to be the earliest dedicated garden shop opened in 1955 before their first out of town centre at Christchurch opened in 1961.