A petition has been set up to save Fulham Palace garden centre after it emerged it could be turned into a pet superstore after its lease is sold off by Prince Charles’s charity.

Shopkeepers, users and neighbours of the centre next to the famous home of the Bishop’s of London are furious over supposed plans to turn the popular garden centre into a Pets at Home.

The 4,157 sq ft centre, which is in a conservation area, is used by people from all around London, including top model David Gandy who is often spotted there.

Neighbours are worried much of the centre will be turned into a car park and are concerned over the lack of transparency from the charity.

Sarah Jane Johnson, of Epirus Road, Fulham, uses the centre and used to have a space in the allotment opposite. “I just don’t think a pet superstore is suitable for that space. It’s a lovely centre and there aren’t many around. There are loads of pet stores, we don’t need another.

“Nobody seems to know about it and it seems they’re trying to push through the lease while everyone’s on holiday.”

Rod Harris has run Hurlingham Pet Shop in nearby New King’s Road since 1972. He said: “All the small pet shops in Fulham should be concerned. We have great customer service which the big boys don’t have but people will go to it for convenience.

“I’ve had residents coming into the shop who don’t have pets saying we need to fight Pets at Home coming.”

Another issue people are concerned about is The Prince’s Trust CFO, Amy Stirling, is also an independent non-executive director of Pets at Home. The charity maintains she has no influence over decisions made and the process is being independently managed in line with charity law.

Mr Harris added he thought Ms Stirling’s connection with Pets at Home was ‘very convenient’.

Ryan Gottsche from Bishops Bark is worried about Pets at Home being built opposite his store

Ryan Gottsche owns Bishops Bark, a grooming and dog day care shop almost opposite the garden centre. He said: “Local residents coming in are really unhappy with the plan and we thought it would be really hard for us but we’ve accepted the fact Pets at Home is coming and hope our personal customer service will work for us. People come from far away for our services so we hope they’ll stay loyal.”

The Prince’s Trust bought the garden centre lease for more than £500,000 from Hammersmith and Fulham Council last year after taking over from the Fairbridge Trust in 2011 but announced in March this year they were selling the lease to focus on supporting disadvantaged young people into jobs. At the end of July they opened the lease up to any retailer, not just a garden centre, and this was when Pets at Home came into the picture.

A spokeswoman from the Trust, said: “We are currently looking at selling the lease of the garden centre in order to raise funds to invest in support of more young people.

“We are continuing to look at all options for the future of the site, which is likely to be taken on by another tenant. We will continue to provide as much information as possible to residents as plans develop.”

Find the petition here .