11:24AM, Thursday 10 October 2019
The owner of a Knowl Hill cafe popular with cyclists has hired lawyers to challenge injunction proceedings from the Royal Borough.
Under planning rules, Velolife, a cafe and cycle workshop in Warren Row Road, is not allowed to have ‘cycle meets’ starting or finishing at its premises.
The owner, Lee Goodwin, has enlisted the help of law firm Leigh Day to challenge an injunction the council is attempting to bring against the cafe.
Mr Goodwin’s lawyers wrote to the Royal Borough on Friday demanding that it alter its definition of what a ‘cycle meet’ is.
Jamie Beagent, Mr Goodwin’s lawyer, said: “Our client has so far attended three meetings with the council and has bent over backwards in attempting to work with them to mitigate the alleged harm to the neighbouring property.
“These efforts include actively discouraging cyclists from meeting at or near the cafe prior to departing on an organised ride, publicising the fact that this is not permitted on social media, demarking the neighbours’ access route through the cafe car-park, putting up ‘no bicycles beyond this point’ signs and physically moving cycle racks.
“Despite these efforts the council seem intent upon pursuing the injunction against Mr Goodwin.
“It is inappropriate for an injunction to be made against Mr Goodwin where he is doing everything reasonably within his power to prevent ‘cyclists meets’ taking place at Velolife and it is truly chilling that Mr Goodwin faces imprisonment if third parties, outside of his control, were to meet at the cafe prior to departing on a ride.”
If the Royal Borough and Mr Goodwin’s lawyers are unable to reach an agreement, they will meet in court on Tuesday, November 19.
The Royal Borough has previously insisted that as well as two complaints made against the cafe by a neighbour, action was also being taken against Mr Goodwin because he did not apply for the correct planning permission when he opened the cafe and ‘did not correct it’ for two years afterwards.
The Royal Borough has declined to comment on the legal proceedings.