The owners of Petersham Nurseries Café and Tearoom have been given the green light to continue trading following a four-year planning battle.
The award-winning Café at the garden centre in Richmond, overseen by head chef Skye Gyngell, faced closure if not given mixed use planning consent after complaints escalated about the amount of traffic it was bringing to the area.
However, Richmond council’s planning committee approved Petersham Nurseries’ application at a meeting last Thursday after the business came up with a green travel plan which encourages customers to use eco-friendly forms of transport.
Wendy Fogarty, Petersham Nurseries general manager and originator of the plan said: “We invited our customers to enjoy their journey to us on foot, bicycle, local ferry and public transport and have been overwhelmed by their willingness and goodwill. It just goes to show that positive change is possible when people work towards a common goal, not at odds with one another.”
Petersham Nurseries opened in 1965. It was bought by Francesco and Gael Boglione in 2003 who re-opened the nurseries and cafe in 2004 with ancillary status for the café. In November 2007 it was granted temporary consent for a year to continue its operation as a garden centre and restaurant conditional upon the further development of its travel plan and reductions in car travel.
Following the meeting the Bogliones said: "When we restored Petersham Nurseries in 2003, we had a simple vision to create a beautiful garden centre in London - a natural space in which people could buy the best quality plants, enjoy a cup of tea, delicious food and a stroll along the Thames.
“This evening's decision finally acknowledges the benefits that Petersham Nurseries brings to the borough".