Work on a £2.5 million Kent-mill style restaurant at a Gravesend garden centre has been completed.

The two-storey high 280-seat restaurant at Millbrook Garden Centre opened last month, with Malcolm Scott Consultants having created the designs for the building and obtained detailed planning consent despite the centre being located in the Green Belt.

A CGI of The Mill


The completed building. Photo: Professional Images/@ProfImages

The MSC team has worked with Millbrook since 2005, and was tasked with preparing a development plan for the site, and designing a new restaurant building that would create a point of difference from other competing garden centres.

Chris Primett, of Malcolm Scott Consultants, said: “In a competitive marketplace, it is important to create an individually designed building in which to house a restaurant – every garden centre has a restaurant, every pub serves food – competition is strong, so to attract repeat custom it’s important to offer a point of difference, offer a memorable experience that people will recommend to others.

“We created a two-storey high restaurant replicating a Kent Mill, drawing on the heritage of the centre and the surrounding area and hopefully it would be an enduring design synonymous with Millbrook itself and adding to its destination experience.”

Joint owner Ben Woodhouse said: “The building looks fabulous.”

Chris added that the centre occupies a five-acre site, limiting the amount of Green Belt development allowed, and that the two-storey structure went against Green Belt restrictions, making a comprehensive planning case fundamental in being granted approval.

The nature of the project meant that a new Aquatics Centre had to be built prior to commencing work on the restaurant itself to make the land available for the site.

Time-lapse videos and building updates were regularly added to Millbrook’s website as the centre keeps customers updated on the restaurant’s progress.