Council is ‘actively marketing’ former South Woodford coach base

A South Woodford business lot vacated by a coach company three years ago has lain dormant since, Redbridge Council has confirmed.

Dan’s Luxury Travel operated from a site next to Charlie Brown’s Roundabout in Chigwell Road since 1982 but the company fell out with the council in 2009 over a proposed rent increase.

Managing director Dan Brown, 61, of Nazeing, Essex, rejected the annual rent more than trebling from �15,000 to �46,000.

The company had to leave the half-acre site after being taken to court by the council and now works from a coach base in Roding Lane South, Redbridge, and a head office in Maybank Road, South Woodford.

A council spokesman said another party was negotiating for the lease in 2009 and made a better offer than Mr Brown but did not then complete the lease.

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He said: “Best offers were invited from both parties to ensure fairness and that the council secured best value.

“This is usual practice in such circumstances.

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“The vacant lot has been actively marketed.

“Negotiations are in hand with a prospective new tenant for the site.”

He added that the council has not accrued extra security or maintenance costs or rates liability on the site since it was vacated.

The council deals with security for other occupied business lots at the same address “so security and maintenance costs remain the same regardless as to whether the lot is occupied or not.”

Mr Brown told the Recorder this week he felt he had been offered a “stupid” one-year lease by the council with a six months notice condition.

His company lost contracts for school runs with the council and neighbouring boroughs last year and has seen its fleet of coaches and minibuses reduced from 50 to 24 since 2009.

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