While the Prince's Trust-owned garden centre still faces closure on August 31, reports reveal that the pets superstore has dropped out of the race.
Businesses and residents in South West London will no doubt be celebrating, as a local newspaper has reported that Pets at Home is no longer in the bidding to take over the lease to the Fulham Palace Garden Centre when it shuts its doors this month.
Locals has been up in arms about the prospect of a pet supermarket on the site, arguing that the retail outlet was not in keeping with the conservation area and that it would prove a threat to other local businesses.
Many had also queried whether there was a conflict of interest over the deal upon learning that other London garden centres had been priced out of the bidding war and that the Prince's Trust's chief financial officer, Amy Stirling, is on the board at frontrunner Pets at Home.
In response, locals set up a petition to the Prince's Trust, calling for the charitable organisation to reconsider its decision. In just a week, the petition jumped from 250 signatures to more than 2,000, helped by publicity from local news site Get West London.
As a result, it was today revealed that Pets at Home has pulled out of the bidding. According to Get West London, Pets at Home deputy chairman Dennis Millard sent an email yesterday afternoon confirming that the firm was no longer in the running. The story also revealed that the email suggested that one of the reasons for Pets at Home's withdrawal was Ms Stirling's involvement with the trust.
A spokesperson for the company told DIY Week: "“We can confirm the garden centre will close at the end of the month and we can confirm that Pets at Home has no plans to acquire the site."