Paignton garden centre closes to make way for 95 houses
A LONG-established garden centre is to close with the loss of eight jobs.
Parkbay Garden Centre is to cease trading in two months.
Owner John Britton said: "It is sad and it is a very difficult decision to make but we decided that we could not go on."
The garden centre has planning permission for 95 homes on the six-acre site.
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Mr Britton said that he had planned to pay for the development himself with the help of investment but he had not been able to secure the funding.
He said: "We are disappointed because we were looking forward to building the houses and using that money to fund the new garden centre but it was not happening and we could not stand still."
An agreement in April last year gave Mr Britton, of Parkbay developments Ltd, five years to raise the cash and complete work on the site.
But he has since received an offer for the site. He would not confirm how much for or who had made the offer.
Mr Britton said that his own building plans had been held back by banks that would not loan enough money and private investors who demanded too much of a percentage.
He said that he was also let down after a failed bid for a government loan to help pay for the new road into the development site but that had not happened.
Mr Britton battled for the 'right junction' opposite Roselands in plans to access land also being used for the £30 million retail and home development at Yannons Farm by the Cavanna Group.
Work is currently under way on the new junction to access the site.
Mr Britton said he was 'very proud' that his junction design was approved by planners.
He said: "That is something to be proud of and I can always say 'I paid half for that'.
He said he was sad for the staff and customers.
He said: "The nursery trade is a great one because there are so many lovely people working in this trade. It will be sad to say goodbye to that."