Simon Le Bon Backs Local Mechanics' Petition

Council doubles notice period to three months

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Matthieu Ferreira has been running a popular motorcycle repair shop from rented premises just off the Lower Richmond Rd in Putney since 2012. In March he was informed by Wandsworth Council 'that the use of the premises as a motorcycle repair shop (Class B2) requires planning permission from the City Council. This is because the lawful use of the premises appears to be residential use (Class C3) and the new use constitutes a material change of use.'

The letter form the Planning Enforcement Officer continued that 'it is highly unlikely that planning permission would be granted to retain continue using the property in its current form, because of the location of the motorcycle repair shop in a residential area.'

The letter informed Mr Ferreira that the ' use of the property as a motorcycle repair shop ceases within 6 weeks of the date of this letter and any fixtures, fittings or equipment associated with the unauthorised use be removed from the property.'

Matthieu, Pictured left with his wife Joanna told PutneySW15: "It is my understanding that prior to this the property had been used as a workshop by a carpenter/joiner and that there were other similar uses before that. Apparently the three garages were once a single unit used as a local garage but all this is hearsay from local residents".

The couple accept that the business will have to move but are seeking for an extention of the time allowed from 6 weeks to 6 months. His wife Joanna said:
"My husband has been renting this garage in good faith and has worked hard to build his reputation and client list. He appreciates he cannot remain there and is actively looking to move but there is simply nothing available and unlikely to be in time for his 12th June deadline."

A council spokesman said:
“It’s very unfortunate, but regrettably the business involved in this case does not have planning permission to operate a noisy and disruptive repair shop in a quiet residential street. People living in this neighbourhood have complained of banging, hammering and revving engines from early morning to late into the evening six days a week.

“We have to pay due regard to those concerns, but at the same time we are of course conscious that this is a fledgling business and we want to be supportive if we can which is why we have given the owner extra time to find new premises before he is required to comply with planning laws. The period was initially six weeks - followed by a further six week extension on condition that there's no more early morning or late night banging and crashing.”

Matt was perplexed by the comments from the council regarding long hours saying:
"I never start before 9.30 and I always finish with any noise by 6.00pm and just use hand tools after that. There is a lot of building work going on very close to the garage and I think I have been wrongly associated with this noise, which starts early and finishes late. Only one resident has complained to me in person and I pointed out to her that the noise was not coming from my garage. Many of my neighbours have actually signed my petition for an extension!"

The couple have launched a petition to assist in their negotiations for a six month period. With over 200 supporters to date including celebrity resident Simon Le Bon.
Joanna said:
"You'll see from the petition that there's already a huge amount of support from the local community and his neighbours saying how much they love having Matt there and that he is always helpful"

May 29, 2015