UK: New plans for Tong Garden Centre highlight the changing needs of businesses

Brexit, changes to policy in China, the pandemic and even the Suez blockage have all effected the way some UK companies do business, according to a new planning application. The owners of Tong Garden Centre plan to build a warehouse extension that will allow them to store more stock on the site.

A planning application for the planned 876 square meter expansion, to be built on a storage yard to the rear of the site, may appear on the surface to be a fairly mundane proposal. But the plans submitted to Bradford Council highlight the pressures facing businesses such as garden centers, as well as changes to the public’s buying habits.

“Whereas formerly economies of scale were gained by containers of products being shipped from China to Western markets and also returned full, this has now changed and as a result shipping costs have significantly increased," the company says.

“In the short to medium term the Suez Canal blockage, Brexit and changes including furlough have all impacted on the flow of imports into the UK. As a result the majority of garden center businesses are experiencing inflated costs for certain products, in particular garden furniture and barbecues.

“Recent circumstances have highlighted the need to have higher levels of stock holding on site and also, given increased shipping costs, the need to buy in larger quantities. As a result storage requirements for garden centers are increasing significantly. The proposed development will assist the continued success of this important local business, securing the existing employment opportunities on this site as well as providing an additional four jobs for people in the local area.” 

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