Northumberland Estates and Blue Diamond submit plans for new garden centre in Alnwick

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Plans to build the ‘premier garden centre in the North East’ on the outskirts of Alnwick have been submitted.

Northumberland Estates wants to build the garden centre, which would be occupied by Blue Diamond, on greenfield land at Cawledge to the east of the A1.

The store, which represents an investment of around £13m from the Duke of Northumberland’s development company, would create over 150 new full and part-time jobs.

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The facility, if approved, will feature extensive indoor and outdoor plant sections, as well as areas dedicated to gardening products, leisure and homeware and outdoor furniture. A restaurant is also proposed.

A CGI of the proposed garden centre in Alnwick.A CGI of the proposed garden centre in Alnwick.
A CGI of the proposed garden centre in Alnwick.

Blue Diamond, one of the UK's largest garden centre chains, has committed to sourcing local goods whenever possible.

It is in discussions with a number of retailers about taking a concession unit.

The proposed site, between the Hog’s Head Inn and Greensfield Moor Farmhouse, boasts a total internal floor area of 7,800 sq. m, with an additional 3,700 sq. m external plant sales area.

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The garden centre is anticipated to attract significant footfall and further solidify Alnwick's reputation as a prime destination for retail, leisure, food, and hospitality.

Plans for the development were first revealed last summer. A public consultation period followed in which 74% of respondents welcoming the addition of a garden centre to Alnwick, and 73% supported efforts to enhance the area's retail offerings.

Colin Barnes, director of planning and development for Northumberland Estates, said: "Our objective is to establish the premier garden centre in the North East right here in Alnwick, and our plans reflect that ambition.

"We have taken into account the feedback from the public consultation, and our plans address several concerns raised, including the installation of EV chargers, rainwater harvesting systems, and solar panels.

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"To improve traffic flow, a new roundabout at the junction of Shilbottle Road, funded by developments in the area, including the garden centre, is scheduled for construction in 2024."

The proposed access to the site is planned from Hawfinch Drive.

There will be aroud 600 parking spaces, a bus stop and coach parking to allow service operators to drop off and wait in a secure location.

Blue Diamond runs 44 garden centres throughout the UK and the Channel Islands. It currently has none to the north of Cheshire but has one in development at Scotch Corner in North Yorkshire.

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