A MULTI-million pound eco-garden centre could be coming to York, creating up to 140 new jobs.

Dobbies Garden Centres is hoping to build a new “state-of-the- art garden world”, next to York Designer Outlet, at Fulford.

The news has today been welcomed by City of York Council leader Andrew Waller, who said a new development would be a boost to the city’s economy and bring much-needed jobs to York.

“People are beginning to get worried about the future of York in terms of employment, with the loss of other jobs, such as at the confectionary factories; any jobs being brought to the city would certainly ease that concern,” he said.

The proposed Dobbies Garden Centre would cover about 12.5 acres, including a 56,000sq ft building and 400-space car park.

A farm food-hall, selling locally-sourced produce, a restaurant, and children’s play area would also be on site.

A planning application is due to be considered later this month at City of York Council’s planning committee. If successful, developers hope the gardening superstore will open late next year. Stuart Wright, director of property at Dobbies, said the store, which he estimated would bring between 120 to 140 jobs to York, would be the largest centre in the region to be built using a renewable timber construction and would be “extremely” eco-friendly.

“We are seeking to place environmental sustainability at its heart,” he said. “The proposed development will incorporate many eco-friendly and sustainable ‘green’ features. We will use a sustainable timber structure and cladding and green plant clad walls.

“The use of renewable energy systems, such as micro generation turbines, biomass boiler, energy efficient light fittings with sensors, and solar panels will ensure as much as a quarter of energy usage comes from renewables, together with a grey-water recycling system,” he added. “An area in-store will also be devoted solely to sustainable and eco-friendly products, such as home renewable systems, compost bins, wormeries, water butts, rain collectors and a wide range of organic gardening products, making it easier for York residents to live more sustainable lifestyles.

“This really is an opportunity for a major 21st century garden centre facility in the York area.”

A spokesman for York Designer Outlet said: “From a York outlet’s perspective we are very supportive of the proposed new development, particularly with its significant investment of bringing jobs and money to the area and with its 21st century eco-friendly and sustainable structure.”