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Plant centre 'is not an essential business'

Forde House, Newton Abbot. Teignbridge Council's HQ

A Newton Abbot garden centre has been warned it must close its doors as it's not essential they remain open to the public to visit.

Plants Galore has been told it doesn't qualify as a 'hardware centre' by Teignbridge Council, which has served a prohibition notice.

The notice is for 'continuing to trade in contravention of the Government’s ruling that non-essential stores should close'.

A council spokesperson said: "Garden centres/plant nurseries are not included in the current Government’s list of businesses able to continue to trade other than via direct delivery to customers.

"According to the registration Plants Galore made at Companies House, the nature of its business is for the “growing of vegetables and melons, roots and tubers and wholesale of flowers and plants”.  

"The Council does not accept that Plants Galore is a hardware store as claimed by the owner.

"By remaining open Plants Galore is encouraging non-essential travel and customers should be made aware that they may be issued with a fixed penalty by the police if they are found to only be purchasing items that are not essential.

"We shall take all appropriate action to ensure that the notice is complied with, acting consistently with colleagues in Exeter and Plymouth, Trading Standards and the Police. 

"Our aim is to ensure that the public is not put at unnecessary risk as a result of Plants Galore not complying with the law.

"We recognise the financial pressures that decisions such as this cause.  

"Many businesses are facing these issues and the Government has been responding to these by announcing a range of financial measures.  

"This restriction will only be in place whilst the country has to limit contact and journeys and is crucial to ensure that coronavirus does not spread.

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