Search

Belsize Park cafe owner demands council compensation for motorbike bay pollution

15:00 15 November 2013

Samir Chbat outside Violette Café, in Englands Lane, Belsize Park. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

Samir Chbat outside Violette Café, in Englands Lane, Belsize Park. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

A café owner is demanding compensation from Camden Council after accusing parking bosses of driving away custom by installing a motorcycle bay directly in front of his business.

Samir Chbat, who runs Violette Café, in England’s Lane, Belsize Park, was aghast when the council installed the parking space just a metre from his outdoor seating area in July.

He says nobody wants to sit there anymore because of the noise and bike fumes, which have also been wafting into the café.

“You cannot imagine this summer, you cannot imagine it at all,” said Mr Chbat, who has run Violette for 13 years. “It was very hot, the door was 
always open. I lost business because nobody was sitting outside because of the hot air, the noise and the smell and the smoke from the bikes.

“The smoke was travelling to the kitchen and I had to call the environmental health officer.”

Mr Chbat said the bay has even led to rows outside his café, when customers have asked bikers to switch off their engines, while some diners have left before finishing their meals and complained of dirt on their clothes.

He added: “To add salt to the wounds, the paparazzi with the motorbikes were in and out, chasing Kate Hudson, Helena Bonham Carter and all the celebrities.”

After months of complaining, he has finally received notice this week that the council is considering shifting the parking bay – but he says this will not make up for all his lost earnings.

“My business is damaged,” he said. “I’m fuming. While I pay to have tables outside, I pay business rates, my business goes down. I want compensation to make it up to me.”

Cllr Phil Jones, cabinet member for sustainability, transport and planning, said there were no objections when the council proposed installing the bay in July.

Following complaints from the café, Camden Council is now consulting on moving the bay away from Violette.

“We will assess any claims for compensation through our standard procedures,” added Cllr Jones.

0 comments

Latest News Stories

15:00
Jose Dent. Picture: Charlie Hopkinson/Gardens Illustrated.

A popular Hampstead horticulturalist has been remembered for her generosity and kindness.

12:00
A mock section of the proposed anti-suicide fence at Archway Bridge is erected. Picture: Nigel Sutton

A mock-up section of controversial “prison-like” anti-suicide measures proposed for historic Archway Bridge has shown for the first time how they will look in real life.

08:00
Susie Gregson, chairman of the society, and Jacqueline Morris, 87, who left the school in 1945, (front centre) with a group of girls  who left in 2010. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Former pupils who attended a top Suburb school between five and 80 years ago returned to mark the 90th anniversary of its alumnae society.

Yesterday, 16:00
Lemurs in their new home at London Zoo

Visitors to London Zoo will soon be able to get up close and personal with some of nature’s most playful primates.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

The latest North London property news and features straight into your inbox.

Other Emails:
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Her family join hundreds of people for charity walk and balloon release in her memory.

They returned to the supermarket for their big day because it was where they had their first date.

“Really, how could we not?” asks the party.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder