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Velolife cafe owner 'relieved' after council legal action dropped

WARREN ROW 131664-6

Velolife owner Lee Goodwin.

The owner of cafe in Warren Row which is popular with cyclists has described his 'relief' after a council injunction sought against his business was dropped.

Lee Goodwin, owner of Velolife in Warren Row Road, had faced going out of business earlier this year after the Royal Borough sought an injunction to stop 'organised meets' there.

The row started when, following complaints from a neighbour, an independent planning inspector deemed that cyclists meeting at the cafe caused too much noise and disruption.

But the council has now withdrawn injunction proceedings. 

In a statement on Twitter, the Royal Borough said that following a 'constructive meeting' earlier this month between itself and Velolife, 'an agreement has been found which enables the cycling activities to continue while protecting the residential amenities'.

It added: "We have always wanted to find a pragmatic solution which allows Velolife to continue operations while protecting residents.

"We believe that may be possible with physical changes and controls to the Velolife car park that have been agreed by the management and leaseholders."

Mr Goodwin would not go into detail about what was discussed with the council.

He told the Advertiser today: "We were approached by the council a few days ago [but] the details are confidential.

"They agreed with what we had said from the beginning."

He added: "It is very difficult [to put into words]. I am very grateful – the support has been phenomenal. Finally we have come to a resolution.

"Finally common sense has prevailed, it is an incredible relief.

"To run a business and be careful of being successful is a very silly situation to be in, but it had got to that point."

British Cycling policy adviser, and Olympic gold medallist, Chris Boardman said: “The withdrawal of this injunction is a long-overdue victory for common sense, and more importantly ends over two years of senseless legal action and unnecessary disruption and anguish for Mr Goodwin, his family and his staff.

"Britain’s cycling cafés make a positive contribution to the local economy, they encourage and support people to cycle more regularly and are often a core part of the communities which they serve.

"They should never be subject to the types of punitive and vindictive measures we have seen here, nor should their customers, and I sincerely hope that this case will act as a strong deterrent to others who wish to pursue a similar path in the future.”

Jamie Beagent, the lawyer for Mr Goodwin from the law firm Leigh Day, said: “This is a significant victory for our client and finally brings to an end this unfortunate episode.”

The council has been approached for further comment. 

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  • Paul Janik

    18:38, 15 November 2019

    ONE, just one, person complained and the Tory council abused its remit and persecuted the cafe owner. There should be a public inquiry into the council's conduct AND the Council Tax Payers should be told how much of their money was wasted on this cruel, stressful and nasty farce. The whole unedifying business is shameful. People should be sacked.



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