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Bitter Hampstead creperie feud continues with letter demanding crepe stand move from pub garden

PUBLISHED: 13:00 25 July 2013

Edward de Mesquita, with the petition box, outside La Creperie de Hampstead. Picture: Polly Hancock

Edward de Mesquita, with the petition box, outside La Creperie de Hampstead. Picture: Polly Hancock

Polly Hancock

The ugly row between two longstanding Hampstead businesses has reached breaking point after a letter was sent demanding a crepe stand moves its fridge and kitchen from a nearby pub garden.

Elaine Loughran, landlady of the King William IV pub in Hampstead. Picture: Nigel SuttonElaine Loughran, landlady of the King William IV pub in Hampstead. Picture: Nigel Sutton

The managers of the King William IV and La Creperie de Hampstead have clashed again after lawyers sent the owner of the crepe stand a letter demanding that he remove his facilities from the pub by Monday, August 5.

The letter also asks Edward de Mesquita to determine his rights to house his fridge and kitchen in the pub’s garden, which he insists is included in his lease.

The creperie has stood in Hampstead High Street for 33 years.

If he does not remove it, lawyers warn that pub landlady Elaine Loughran is within her rights to instruct bailiffs to remove his property from the pub garden, highlighting that she would not be held legally responsible for any “spoiled goods” in the process.

Both businesses are tenants of Star Pubs and Bars, owned by Heineken. Ms Loughran says she has offered the crepe stand owner an alternative space for a fee of £100 a week.

But Mr de Mesquita argues that she has no legal right to remove it or charge him for the space, saying she would need a court order to send the bailiffs round. The business will be effectively unable to operate without the facilities.

He said: “I’m not doing anything. She has no legal basis for this. She is not my landlord, she is my fellow tenant, my neighbour – the neighbour from hell.

“It is like your next door neighbour locking the door to your block of flats and not letting you in.

“I just want to be left alone to trade in peace. I’ve been there 33 years and I’ve never caused anyone any harm. My only crime is that I’ve been successful.”

But Ms Loughran argues she is perfectly “within her rights” to ask for the removal of the crepe stand’s fridge and kitchen. She is also asking Mr de Mesquita to pay for the water supply, which the creperie and the pub share.

She said: “There’s been a witch- hunt against me. I’ve offered him an alternative space but he hasn’t come back to me. I’ve got no right to evict him but I’m within my rights to move his goods. It’s my land.”

Ms Loughran’s management, Eat Pubs Ltd, sent the letter as a result of “considerable business interruption” from members of the public, journalists and police.

Officers were sent round last week when the landlady complained about her photo being used on a petition to garner support for the creperie. The petition has already gained more than 4,000 signatures.

Eat Pubs Ltd called the campaign “misleading”, adding that Ms Loughran has had to take considerable time out from running the business to deal with the row.

But the letter states that she cannot afford to be away from the business over the busy August bank holiday and is keen to resolve the issue before then.

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