AN indoor gazebo needed to shelter volunteers and customers from the leaking greenhouse roof will be a thing of the past after a Poole charity received planning permission for a new shop.

The Chestnut Nursery in Kingland Road has been granted permission by Borough of Poole for a new 200 sq metre retail centre and fund raising for the £470,000 project has begun.

The sheltered nursery gives valuable work opportunities for people with severe and long term mental illness and the project includes a workshop and two polytunnels and another member of staff recruited to allow more volunteers to be helped.

"It's very exciting," said Angela Mansbridge, nursery manager. "There are limits to what we can sell, stock gets damaged, and people say they would like to be able to come and buy all their gardening sundries from us."

The charity has been on the acre site for 15 years and inherited a hotch-potch of buildings and a great deal of buddleia, whose mauve colour will be represented in panels on the new building. Two greenhouses in the worst condition will be demolished and replaced with the new shop.

As well as being able to sell a wide range of plants, house plants for which there is no heating at present, seeds and garden tools, they also aim to showcase local arts and crafts.

"At one time we were the best kept secret," said Angela. "We did some consultation and most people have heard of us and all were supportive of our plans. It is quite good to be able to get such a big project this close to the town."

Around 56 volunteers are currently being helped and another 10-15 could be supported, and apart from the horticulture and retail experience there are cooking courses and promotion of a healthy lifestyle.

Horticultural supervisor Andy Verreck is looking forward to being able to stock a wider range of plants for coastal gardens and wildlife friendly species.

A lottery bid is being prepared and financial support has been pledged from The Talbot Village Trust and The Alice Ellen Cooper Dean Foundation. Chestnut Nursery is appealing for funds and help in kind to be able to meet the target to start construction work in October 2016. Anyone who can help can contact 01202 685999 or