THE operator of a snack bar at a Poole beauty spot has accused the council of “destroying” a family business after he was ordered to make way for another trader.

Nigel Milham has run his kiosk at Baiter for 17 years and says he has paid £180,000 in rent in that time.

But BCP Council – which he says demanded full rent during the Covid lockdown – put the service out to tender earlier this year and chose another operator, even though Mr Milham says he submitted the highest bid.

He has been told he must leave the site by the end of this month.

Earlier this month, the council revealed a £4.5million package of support for businesses, including targeted help for those who had missed out on earlier grants.

But Mr Milham said: “ It’s particularly hypocritical of BCP Council senior executives to publicly and actively promote their support of small local, long established businesses on one hand during these unprecedented times whilst privately destroying a long-established family run enterprise with the other.

“It’s also particularly frustrating that after the closure of my business in March until mid-May last year during lockdown, I received a rent demand from BCP, although they were aware that I had no source of income over that period.

“When I was advised of the forthcoming tender process in March this year I did question the timing but that was disregarded. I dutifully and diligently applied and despite my offer being the highest, I was informed by email that my bid had been unsuccessful and that I must vacate the site by April 30.

“It appears now that despite paying the council around £180,000 in rent over the years, opening throughout the winter, adhering to and going beyond contractual obligations, working with the local environmental health officer and taking his advice during Covid, it counted for nothing.”

Customer Claire Pollard, who visits the kiosk with husband Craig, said the closure of the snack bar would be a “massive loss”.

“Nigel is lovely to customers. He will do odd jobs for them and he’s even attended funerals,” she said.

BCP Council had not commented at the time of going to press.