VOTE: Are Bognor Regis businesses unnecessarily hampered by bureaucracy?

An award-winning business owner has accused Arun District Council of trying to evict him from the seafront.

Alex Mills finally signed a lease for his popular Shake and Bake promenade outlet on Monday after two years of disputes with
the council.

The deal was agreed on the same day he submitted a planning application to the council to make changes to his premises upon which it has insisted.

He said: “The council would not give me a lease unless I put in for planning permission. If I did not do that, they were going to throw me off.

“It was like having a gun to my head. I only had four working days from the receipt of their letter in which to submit the application.”

He condemned the fact it had taken so long to be given a lease for a business into which he had invested £25,000-plus on its installation and custom-made fixtures and fittings.

“The council have not even given me an extension on my lease,” he said.

“It will still end in 2014.

“So, I have to invest more money with less time to make a return on it.”

An Arun spokeswoman defended the council’s actions in this matter.

She said: “Over the past two years negotiations have been continuing with the operator of Shake and Bake.

“Despite the operator not meeting various deadlines to complete the lease and get other statutory approvals in place, the council has still endeavoured to reach an agreeable resolution.”

For the full story see this today’s Bognor Regis Observer (Thursday, August 23, edition).

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