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HHS have a new petition - this petition is now closed

2016-08-12 16:17:45
As you all know this petition was presented to Wokingham Borough Council, which then refused to consider it because it related to a planning matter.


After taking advice from the council, Sheeplands has now launched a second petition with more appropriate wording.


We urge you all to sign the new petition in order to continue your support for this wonderful business. It can be found at



Thank you all for your loyal support. This first petition is now officially being closed down in order to focus on the new petition.



2016-07-30 14:57:08



As I am sure you already know the council refused to accept the petition you signed in support of Hare Hatch Sheeplands.   That’s because, under their own rules, they have decided not to accept petitions which are about planning issues.    Since the online and paper petitions were submitted to Wokingham Borough, the total number of signatures has risen to nearly 12,000.


If you don’t want the council to ignore you there is now another chance to make your views heard. The planning inquiry that begins at Shute End on September 6th gives you an opportunity and we urge you to take advantage of it by signing our new petition right now at []


The new petition does not mention planning.  As you can see from the wording it simply asks the council to offer us the support we need to continue as a financially viable business and provide the many community benefits we know you appreciate.   Use the petition to tell Wokingham Borough Council that you will not allow them to ignore the views of so many local people.


There is a paper petition at Sheeplands & the online petition with the address given above.   Can you please sign now or within the next week or two? You should sign either the online or the paper version – but not both. Please also make sure that you only sign once.    Even if you signed the first petition we DO need you to sign this new version in order to make your views known.  It will allow us to make it clear to the inquiry inspector that, despite Wokingham’s intransigence, you are not willing to give up the fight to save Sheeplands.


If the council gets its way the loss of income will force Hare Hatch Sheeplands to close down. If you don’t want that to happen then make sure you sign the new petition.


You have given Hare Hatch Sheeplands magnificent support in the past. Please now do it again.


Thank you.


HHS - Local Councillors

2016-04-30 16:17:26

Dear Friends,

I have just learnt that our dispute with WBC has just worsened. Not only have WBC chosen to refuse your petition of support, now over 10,000 unique signatures, but worse have applied for an injunction against me and 7 of our family run concessions. We all have to appear at the Royal Courts of Justice in The Strand next Thursday 5th May 2016 accused of ignoring the terms of an enforcement notice.
This is frankly ludicrous when we are due to defend our position at a public inquiry in September when our appeal is to be heard by an independent inspector.
They are seeking to have the garden centre and most of its concessions shut down within 14 days leaving only the farm shop, part of the café and nursery. Needless to say we will be defending our position vigorously to ensure the future for our employees and concessions, their families and you our wonderful customers.
Ironically, this is the day of the local elections and although I do not like to get involved in politics normally I have been asked by so many customers which candidates are supportive of our business that I wrote to them all inviting them to state their position on our business. Of the 39 candidates standing for election 11 have so far answered. Of these 4 are Lib Dems 2 are cons. 2 labour, 2 Greens and 1 independent. All are supportive and some are super supportive.
All I can say is that the following candidates are 100% behind us and have promised to fight our corner if elected. I believe it is only by getting a more balanced council that democracy will work at WBC. At the moment they are ignoring the wishes of our 10,000 plus supporters and trying to shut us down “in the public interest” as stated in the injunction papers.
The candidates who I think would fight hardest for our cause are:
Lindsay Ferris - Lib Dem
Unstinting support over the years
Remenham, Wargrave and Ruscombe
Martin Alder - Lib Dem
Our home ward and where I live
Emma Hobbs - Conservative
Always been a supporter and has some sway over the sitting councillors
Paul Trott - Lib Dem
Long term supporter
Maiden Erleigh
David Hare - Lib Dem
Long term supporter
Steven Lloyd - Green Party
Came to visit especially as he had never been
David Worley - Green Party
Came to visit especially as he had never visited the site. Wrote a blog which you can all read here. 100% support
Other wards
Please ask the candidates themselves as I have no direct knowledge of their views.
Other councillors who have written in support: Nick Ray (Charvil - Ind.), Brian Scott (Charvil - Lab), Stuart Crainer (Remenham Wargrave & Ruscombe - Lab), Merv Boniface (Twyford - Cons)
I would like to thank them all for their support along with everyone who has signed our petition and sent letters of support as we fight for justice and democracy and remind everyone that in local elections only a few votes can make a big difference.
Kind regards and heartfelt thanks for your support,
from Rob and all of the employees and concessions at Hare Hatch Sheeplands




2016-04-29 17:07:57

I am sorry to have to report the following:-

Just days after refusing to consider a petition in support of Hare Hatch Sheeplands garden centre Wokingham Borough Council has applied for injunctions against owner Rob Scott and the majority of concessions trading there.
They are accused of ignoring an enforcement notice issued by the council and are ordered to appear at the Royal Courts of Justice in London next Thursday (May 5).
“This action by the council totally ignores the fact that we are in the middle of a judicial review into its refusal to consider our recent planning application for the petting farm and play area,” said Mr. Scott, owner of the Twyford centre.
“More importantly it ignores the fact that an appeal is due to be heard in September against the council’s refusal to grant us the Certificate of Lawful Use to which we believe we are entitled.
“It is a kick in the teeth to the 10,000 individuals who have signed a petition calling on the council to grant us this certificate.
“Wokingham Borough Council seems hell bent on taking action which will close us down and which is totally against the wishes of thousands of the people who elected them into power.
“I have said it before but it is worth repeating. By taking this action the council has effectively found us guilty before we have even had the opportunity for our case to be heard by a Government appointed inspector in September. That’s an arrogant abuse of the power councillors have been given by local electors.
“I can assure them I will continue the fight to save the jobs of our employees, the livelihood of the concessionaires, the financial contribution we make to the local economy and the wishes of our wonderful customers.”




2016-04-26 08:42:02

Many of you will have seen the latest update (copied below) sent out by HHS on 19th April. If there is any way you can prove you shopped at HHS in the earlier years going back to 2002 and before, can you please write to the Council and tell them and copy HHS in on the letter or email. You also need to say that you support their application for a certificate or lawful use and their right to retail. I know it is highly unlikely you have kept receipts for a pack of bedding plants, but you may well have receipts or bank/credit card statements for larger purchases such as large garden plants & pots, fertilisers, trees, garden equipment. Photos of your garden with goods bought, or photos you may have taken at HHS around that time would also be very useful. Please spare a bit of time to search through your files if you think you may be able to track down a proof of purchase - no matter how small the amount. It may well be the one thing that helps save HHS. 27th APRIL IS THE DEADLINE FOR THIS (tomorrow).

The very survival of Sheeplands is at risk and we would be very grateful if you are willing to assist us with the following.  

We have re-applied for a 'Certificate of Lawful Use' (application number 160677). If we can prove that Hare Hatch Sheeplands has been operating as a retail business since at least 2002, Wokingham Borough Council's enforcement notice would become invalid. This would then allow a certificate of lawfulness to be granted, on the same basis as the certificate that was provided to Ladds Garden Village and Countrywide Stores. 

 We have been overwhelmed by the support we have received and our petition to save Sheeplands is fast approaching 10,000 signatures. However, the threat of closure of the business is still very real. 

 For those of you who feel strongly enough and are willing to support us, please register your support by writing to Wokingham Borough Council. If you can provide any 'evidence' or support for our claim that Sheeplands has been operating as a business between 2002 and 2012, this could go a long way in helping us to survive. 

 If you would like to show your support in this way, please send an email to: or write a letter and send it to: Development Manager, Wokingham Borough Council, P.O. Box 157, Shute End, Wokingham, Berkshire, RG40 1WR. Please quote the Certificate of Lawful Use application number (160677).

 The deadline for registering your support is 27 April. 

 Thank you for your continued support!

 Rob and the team at Hare Hatch Sheeplands



2016-03-27 17:37:20

Hi All, You may or may not have seen this item on the BBC website.

This was great publicity and it would be good if we could get the BBC South Today even more interested so they follow it up. Can you please find the time to make your views known to the BBC either online or by writing in. There was also further publicity in the Wokingham paper, and the Henley Standard also reported on the petition which now has 8,500 signatures (including the paper version at HHS).  I am not able to attach the press clippings but if you would like to see them then email me via the petition, the link is on the first page (contact petition author). Please help to keep the interest going, many children are already missing the animal corner and the loss of further facilities will cause so much more disappointment to young and old alike.

Once again, thank you all for your help so far.


Hare Hatch Sheeplands - UPDATE

2016-03-09 16:05:25

Dear All,

Thank you so much for the support you have given to HHS, but yet again your continued support is needed. HHS are hoping the petition can be presented to the Council at a meeting on March 24th. We do not want you to sign it again, but we do ask that you check with any friends/relatives/neighbours that they know about the petition, and if they do have they signed it? The petition can be signed online or a paper petition is held at HHS. 

Many thanks




2015-12-23 12:25:01

This is a bit lengthy but please read and act upon it as soon as possible, time is short. 

Can you help?

Customers of Hare Hatch Sheeplands garden centre in Twyford have been reminded that they have only a few days left in which to support the centre’s current planning applications.
At the invitation of Wokingham Borough Council the garden centre’s owners have applied for planning permission for a children's farm, play area, coffee shop outdoor area and dog friendly lounge. 
In addition they seek approval to move the Pet Stop store from the premises in which it is currently open and trading into a different and existing location on the site.
“We know how popular these facilities are with our customers,” said centre owner Rob Scott, “but they only have until December 29 to register their support.

"They can do that by emailing, or completing an online comment form at
“They need to select Planning & Building Control>Planning Application>Comment on a planning application.
“Another way of registering support is by sending a letter to the Development Manager, Po Box 157 at Wokingham Borough Council.”
The key reference numbers for the applications are 152748 for the proposed change of an existing building to retail (for the movement of Pet Stop into this space) and 152747 for the proposed change of land and building to children's play area and recreational farm.
The centre’s owners, who have been operating from the site since 1993, have also launched an appeal against the council’s refusal to grant a certificate of lawful use.
That appeal will be considered by a Government appointed inspector and is expected to be considered at a public enquiry in the New Year.
“We are working hard on a plan which would allow us to continue providing the facilities that our customers welcome and expect,” said Mr. Scott.

Link to How to Comment on a planning application WBC
Link to read/see our planning applications in Planning Applications (search by the ref numbers given above)

Thank you for reading & thank you for your ongoing support.


Hare hatch Sheeplands - Please help in the fight for survival

2015-05-06 14:45:34

Dear All, More than a year has passed since I last updated you on the situation with HHS and WBC. I regret to inform you that WBC have decided to completely ignore what you want in your community and have issued a refusal to Rob Scott’s “lawful use” application. WBC have started legal proceedings to force him to comply with the enforcement notice they issued in 2013.  If Rob Scott is forced to trade by the rules WBC put in their enforcement notice his business cannot possibly survive and the loss to the community will be devastating.   

Did you know that HHS have raised over £30,000 for local charities through their Christmas Grotto – now, thanks to WBC the Christmas Grotto has to end. The losers are Twyford Charities Together (Age Concern, Daisy’s Dream, Building for the Future, Camp Mohawk & Piggott School). The young, old & disabled will all suffer because of WBC. Are WBC going to provide extra funding to replace the money that will be lost, money all these charities need to continue their good works? HHS are a venue for, and a great supporter of “Be A Santa For A Senior” where 150 elderly locals are invited to a FREE party and receive a hamper at Christmas. This will also cease. HHS is a venue for charity events, community events & collections e.g Poppy appeals, RNLI, Horticultural Society shows, pre-school visits, children’s theatre, craft markets & Christmas markets & food festivals. You will lose all of these from your community.  

I have not yet mentioned all the local, independent  suppliers who will also suffer from the loss of trade that HHS gives them. The eggs come from Riverway farm on the A4, fruit & veg  and some plants all come from local suppliers.  

Lots of youngsters from local schools have had their first taste of work with Saturday and evening jobs at HHS. This has given them a great deal of valuable work experience.  

The first things to go are the children’s play area and the children’s farm – these are to close on 7th May.    

If WBC do not accept Rob Scott’s “plan of compliance” it could lead to the removal of everything but the farm shop, the coffee shop and the plant nursery. If this happens the business will no longer be financially viable and will cease to exist. This will affect all age groups in our community -  children, parents, Grandparents.  

I urge you to please, please, please, add your comments to this petition, write to your local Councillor, write to WBC, write to Theresa May, write to Radio Berkshire, write to BBC South, write to anyone you can think of to make your views known. If you want HHS fight for it. All we want is for  HHS to be allowed to operate on the same basis as other local garden centres.  

Please forward the link for this petition to anyone you know who will be affected by WBC decision.  


Enforcement Notice

2014-04-08 14:48:00

I have received the following announcement from hare hatch Sheeplands:-

"We are very pleased to announce that we have spent a lot of time and effort discussing matters with Wokingham Borough planning officials and our Ward Councillors for the last few weeks in the hope that we can resolve our planning dispute and get on with planning the next phase for the future of Hare Hatch Sheeplands.

As part of this ongoing process we have withdrawn our appeal against the  Enforcement Notice issued by WBC. I have identified a way in which we can resolve the problem without compromising WBC's  greenbelt policy. There is every reason now to believe that a solution is within sight which will be acceptable to all parties.

We would like to thank our local councillor Bob Pitts for his help in reaching this point."​

Thank you all so much for your support.

I will publish further updates as soon as I receive information.






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