DEVASTATED owners of a popular Stourport pet shop have been left facing an uncertain future after being told they must leave their current premises by the end of the month.

Pet & Garden Supplies has served the community from its Tan Lane site for 12 years but were given just a few weeks’ notice in March to leave after property developers Bromford Housing purchased the land.

The news provoked an emotional response from loyal customers with some left in tears at the possible closure of the business.

Bromford completed work on its £10.5million School Gardens retirement village complex – which is situated opposite the shop - last month and said it needs the land for additional on-site parking.

But Jackie Carter, who runs the store with husband Richard, said: “Our rolling 12 month lease ran out in February and we were told it wouldn’t be renewed as Bromford were looking to buy the land.

“We thought we would be given suitable notice but, at the end of March, we were told we had to get out in just a few weeks and it was a huge shock.

“The whole situation is emotionally draining as we have such little time to digest the news, clear this shop and find new premises suitable for us to carry on.

"As well as the animals in the shop, we also have two stray cats that have set up home here and will now have to be rehomed.

“And the response from all our customers has been incredible and overwhelming as we didn't realise how highly people thought of us. I can’t thank them enough.

“Some are angry and wanted to protest while others have been in tears. Their reaction is encouraging us to try to carry on with the business.

The 61-year-old mother-of-two added: “We are not just a little pet shop but are part of the community. Bromford are not coming across as very community minded over this.”

Penny Downing, sales and marketing director at Bromford, said: “We’ve reconsidered parking provision for School Gardens due to the requirements of our new residents and have decided to increase the current provision.

“After considering a range of options, we have been in discussions with the landowner of this site on Tan Lane for the best part of 12 months.

“We have now reached an agreement for us to buy and the landowner to sell which has culminated in their tenants being informed of the need to vacate the current premises.

“We completely understand the sadness and frustration felt by regular customers of the pet shop and we wish the owners luck in finding an alternative site which keeps them in the heart of the Stourport community.

“We intend to use some of this site for additional parking and are considering what we will do with the remainder in due course as we continue bringing investment into Stourport.”