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Neighbours heartbroken after attempts to save Stoke Newington garage fail

PUBLISHED: 15:39 21 May 2013 | UPDATED: 09:43 22 May 2013

Supporters standing outside Ozan Garage in Batley Place

Supporters standing outside Ozan Garage in Batley Place

Archant

Neighbours' attempts to rally round and save Ozan Garage in Batley Place, which has been in the community for 22 years have failed.

Owner of Ozan Garage in Batley Place, Stoke Newington, Cemal Arslan has been forced to shut up shop, after planning permission was awarded to build a single mews house on the site, with business space on the lower ground floor.

Many neighbours were horrified to hear the garage, whose workers they believe contribute to safety in the area, was being evicted.

They set about organising a petition which garnered more than 200 signatures as well a protest barbeque.

Kaja Kippenberg who helped lead the campaign said: “He is the kind of business man this country needs at the moment - and should not be thrown out of business.

“We see this as a pattern that thriving businesses are being put out of business because of residential development.

“In contrast if you look at the economy it’s struggling - the government should help small businesses to survive so it’s unacceptable this is happening on a regular basis.”

Neighbours felt the planning application for conversion from business into partly residential usage should have been made under a different banding.

Instead of Certificate A – which applicants use when no one is affected – they felt Certificate B, which entails a neighbourhood consultation, would have been more appropriate.

A spokesman for Hackney Council said a consultation had been carried out anyway.

“We recorded objections and made a decision based on them. It’s unlikely the outcome would have been any different,” he said.

Speaking on behalf of the developer, Jonathan Rothbart, said: “All I know is we brought the property a couple of years ago with no agreement, we gave out notices and it’s a legal procedure. On top of the six months we’ve given him another three months.

“It’s an unfortunate situation for someone who’s been there running a business and making a living, we have tried to be as sensible as possible but at the same time we need to look after our assets or else we can’t survive.

“I wouldn’t want someone to do something which takes away my living, but there are many car garages in the London area, and I don’t believe all is lost.”

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