When news happens text pix and video to 80360. Start your message with BE then leave a space.
Row over Sevens Boatshed after owners refused to pay rent as compensation for fly infestation
10:00am Friday 15th March 2013 in News
A WRANGLE over flies and an unauthorised storage building led to Eddie Mitchell’s Poole Park restaurant owing thousands of pounds in rent, it is claimed.
Sevens Boatshed, operated by Mr Mitchell’s Black Label Events company, allegedly failed to pay its June and December instalments, understood by the Echo to amount to around £10,000.
Lawyers for Black Label threatened to claim against the council for loss of business last July, saying that the authority had failed to control an infestation of flies, believed to be breeding in the reed beds.
Darren Martin of Black Label Events, said: “In the evenings you couldn’t see outside the windows. We lost a hell of a lot of trade.”
The council contested the claim and refused to accept part-payment of the rent, instructing its finance department to recover the full amount.
In December, the planning department served the company with an enforcement notice requiring Black Label to remove a storage building that had been put up without permission.
Because Black Label was in breach of its lease, the council stopped demanding rent. The enforcement notice was later withdrawn so planning officers could negotiate an alternative site.
A Borough of Poole spokesman said: “The council felt that there was a planning enforcement issue which could have amounted to a breach of tenancy.
“The legal position was not to accept any rent offered since that could be seen as accepting the breach. The matter is being followed up and the council is now pursuing the rent owed in full.”
Planning chairman Cllr Phil Eades said: “It is thoroughly unacceptable for anybody to construct buildings in Poole’s premier park without planning permission. The council must immediately regularise the planning and the financial position of this business.”
Mr Mitchell said: “It’s all been sorted. We don’t owe any back rent or rates. There’s no unauthorised storage building – it’s a temporary unit which we had tables in. I could pick it up and take it home if I wanted to.
“I don’t owe the council any money. The council holds £20,000 of mine as a guarantee which I had to give with the lease.”