Wendy Fogarty, general manager at Petersham Nurseries, has left her position at the south west London-based restaurant and garden centre just weeks after winning a major legal battle with the local council.
Petersham Nurseries was granted a mixed-use planning application earlier this summer, after it won a four-year dispute with Richmond Council over parking and the level of traffic around the site.
The dispute dragged out because the council, after granting a 12-month temporary licence in December 2007, did not get around to discussing the venue's application. However, after Fogarty implemented a series of measures to reduce to the number of visitors travelling to Petersham by car, permission to extend was finally granted in July.
She implemented a Green Travel Plan including the closure of Petersham's car park and issued proposals to the council for more sustainable transport solutions including a bicycle network, a local travel network and a local commuter ferry service.
After winning the dispute, she told Caterersearch of her relief and delight with the outcome, adding she was now able to focus on driving the business through the recession.
However, a spokeswoman for Petersham Nurseries confirmed to Caterersearch that Fogarty has now left her position.
"Wendy took some long overdue leave shortly after helping win the case against the council. We were hoping that she would return but she has decided to work on some new projects," she said.
"It's our sincere hope that she will work with Petersham Nurseries again in some capacity in the future. There are no plans to replace her."
Petersham Nurseries Café, which opened in 2004 and is open for lunch only five days a week, with head chef Skye Gyngell overseeing the kitchen.
By Kerstin Kühn
E-mail your comments to Kerstin Kühn here.
If you have something to say on this story or anything else join the debate at Table Talk - Caterer's new networking forum. Go to www.caterersearch.com/tabletalk
Looking for a new job? Find your next restaurant job here with Caterersearch.com jobs