A bid to allow garden centres to open for more than six hours on Sundays failed has failed [March 2016] – after Tory and Scottish National Party rebels voted out the proposal.

Garden centres were set to make £70million more per year if Sunday trading regulations had been relaxed.

The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) will now write to chancellor George Osborne and lobby for garden centres to be exempt from Sunday trading restrictions.

The HTA’s Raoul Curtis-Machin said: “We are very disappointed. The proposals offered a real chance for economic growth in our sector.

“We can show clear evidence of the benefits and support for allowing garden centres to trade for longer on Sundays and [open on] Easter Sunday.

“Spring is our key season and Easter Sunday is a key opportunity to increase sales.”