AN established garden centre in the Ribble Valley could close and be redeveloped into houses if sales don’t start to pick up, according to the company.
Plans to build 43 properties on the site of Hansons Garden Centre in Barrow have recently been approved by Ribble Valley Borough Council.
The firm, which has been on the site from around 80 years, currently employs eight full and part-time staff but has said that it has ‘no plans’ to close soon.
The Whalley Road business has been run by the Hanson family for the last 11 years and has described the planning application as an ‘insurance policy’ in case sales continue to be poor.
The application was submitted to the council in August last year following a two-month consultation with residents. he plans, which were sent in by proprietor Chris Hanson, were objected to by the parish council and other residents.
Lindsey Hanson, who is a director at the firm, said: “We have no plans to close the garden centre at the moment and it’s business as usual.
“It’s obviously tough at the moment because people have less money and there is a lot of competition out there.
“We really do not want to shut the business but if sales continue to be poor then it’s something that we are going to have to seriously look at.
“Garden centres are getting quieter and quieter these days and we are also facing competition from places such as supermarkets who sell what we sell.
“The application is just an insurance policy and we are all hoping that we don’t have to go down that road.
“We want to keep on going and that’s very much what we are focusing on at the moment.”