Bradford garden centre’s £14m new venture could provide…

Bradford garden centre’s £14m new venture could provide 250 jobs

A BRADFORD garden centre is planning to open a new £14m site in south Leeds.

The company behind Tong Garden Centre wants permission to build a brand new garden centre and soft play area off Thorpe Lane in Tingley, which documents say could provide up to 250 jobs.

Plans, submitted to Leeds City Council for approval, also include outdoor adventure play areas, which applicants claim can “tackle childhood obesity”.

Documents submitted by the applicants and published via the council, state: “The new Tingley Garden and Play Centre is sensitive to its green belt setting and will provide a vibrant and stimulating environment, an ‘experiential’ landscape for informal recreation for all, inspiring young and old to garden, enjoy being outdoors and spend time with family and friends.

“The applicants plan to take on and open a new centre at Tingley shows their dedication to the area and their desire to create an attractively landscaped and integrated garden and play site which will provide an accessible and enjoyable asset for the communities of Leeds.

Tong Garden Centre plan restaurant

“The proposed development will result in substantial new investment into the area, with an anticipated build cost of approximately £14 million. It will also provide up to 250 new jobs directly at the site in a wide variety of positions, as well as additional employment opportunities in the construction of the building as well as supporting other local businesses.”

The garden centre would be built on a former golf driving range off Thorpe Lane. Proposals include an enclosed garden centre shop, covered outdoor sales areas and an outdoor play area and soft play area.

The main garden centre building will also contain a customer restaurant along with kitchen facilities, staff facilities, toilets and storage space, as with the permitted scheme.

Documents also propose an area of indoor soft play, as well as an “additional adventure play area”, which it claims “will be very physically demanding in nature and will help children lead a more active lifestyle and help to tackle child obesity.”

It added: “This will be a very physical play area, and based on the experience of the current adventure play facilities at applicant’s site at Tong children of all ages and physical abilities (with some of the equipment specifically designed for use by wheelchair users) will enjoy a full day of strenuous, challenging and rewarding activity.”

The site, according to a design and access statement, was subject to two other planning applications for garden centres, in 1988 and 2016.

As no work ultimately took place on the 2016 plans, however, permission has now expired.

Leeds City Council is expected to make a decision on the plans in the coming months.