Campaign To Save Littleport Furniture Outlet After Council Issue Enforcement Notice
PUBLISHED: 09:20 11 November 2009 | UPDATED: 11:08 04 May 2010
THE owners of a furniture outlet store based in Littleport have vowed to do everything they can to save their business after they were served with an enforcement notice by East Cambridgeshire District Council (ECDC). Based on the Saxon Business Park on th
THE owners of a furniture outlet store based in Littleport have vowed to do everything they can to save their business after they were served with an enforcement notice by East Cambridgeshire District Council (ECDC).
Based on the Saxon Business Park on the A10, The Home opened its doors to the public in July and marketed itself as a manufacturer and wholesaler of quality furniture.
Within two days of opening its doors, however, planning officers from the district council issued 'stop' and 'enforcement' notices on the store's general manager Jemma Bruen, after it was deemed that the owners had breached the terms of their planning permission by using the factory for retail purposes.
Ms Bruen admits she has been left perplexed at the decision,
"We are completely dismayed by ECDC's action," says Jemma, "Saxon Business Park is ideal for our type of business. We have plenty of parking and we are in an easily accessible site in an edge-of-town town location.
"ECDC wants us to close permanently because we don't yet have permission from them to sell the volume of furniture that we are to the public and on the basis of that technicality they are trying to force us to close our doors.
"That will mean that up to 10 members of staff will lose their permanent jobs, which in today's difficult climate, would be a tragedy.
"We fully intend to resist the district council using every method at our disposal. We will be taking our fight to councillors and the public and our growing number of customers."
In a bid to highlight their plight, a special website (www.leavethehomealone.co.uk) has been created to help garner support for The Home's appeal and includes an online petition for people to show their support.
A spokesman for ECDC said: "'East Cambridgeshire District Council issued an enforcement notice and stop notice in relation to The Home in July 2009. This action was taken against an alleged unauthorised retail use at Saxon Business Park, Littleport.
"The appeal site has planning approval for general industry, and the Council believes the current use is retail. The enforcement notice has been appealed and this appeal will be heard early in 2010.'"
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Should The Home be allowed to stay open?
Write to: the Ely Standard, 38 Market Street, Ely, Cambs, CB7 4LS or email: firstname.lastname@example.org