£200K to be paid to take­away owner

COUNCIL HAS TO COUGH UP TO TAKE­AWAY BOSS – FOUR YEARS LATER

The Chronicle - - News - By MICHAEL MUNCASTER Re­porter michael.muncaster@trin­i­tymir­ror.com @MichaelMjourno

A COUNCIL has been or­dered to pay a take­away boss more than £200,000 af­ter forc­ing him to leave a town cen­tre to make way for a su­per­mar­ket re­de­vel­op­ment.

In 2013, the £15m Mor­risons su­per­store opened in Blyth, Northum­ber­land, and was around 60% big­ger than the one it has re­placed on the same Re­gent Street site.

But the con­tro­ver­sial project in­volved the re­moval of around a dozen nearby busi­nesses, in­clud­ing take­away owner Mustafa Be­hic.

The council was granted a com­pul­sory pur­chase or­der (CPO) en­abling it to ac­quire land and build­ings in the cen­tre of the town.

Most busi­nesses agreed fi­nan­cial settlements from the council to move and, af­ter a long le­gal strug­gle, the last have now had their pay­ments con­firmed by a tri­bunal.

Mr Be­hic, his son Orhan and his wife Su­san’s for­mer take­away busi­ness will re­ceive a com­bined £201,703, a tri­bunal has ruled.

Mr Be­hic, who owned the free­hold of the land in Sta­tion Road and was an em­ployee of the take­away, had claimed he should be owed more than £300,000.

It in­cluded sums for loss of equip­ment when the prop­erty was taken, the value of the land it­self and other losses.

But char­tered sur­veyor Paul Fran­cis, who led the tri­bunal, said he was not con­vinced that the sum was ap­pro­pri­ate.

In­stead he or­dered that Mr Be­hic will re­ceive £163,250 for the land and to cover his losses.

The take­away busi­ness, Mer­mer Ltd, will get £31,845, and Orhan Be­hic, who ran a phone shop on part of the prop­erty, was awarded £5,978.

A council spokesman said: “The devel­op­ment of a new Mor­risons store in Blyth was sup­ported by the council as it pro­vided a much-needed eco­nomic boost for the town, se­cur­ing over 150 jobs and cre­at­ing the po­ten­tial for over 100 more.

“Ex­ten­sive con­sul­ta­tion was car­ried out with the public and key stake­hold­ers, in­clud­ing those par­ties di­rectly af­fected by the devel­op­ment, and the council se­cured the ap­proval of the Sec­re­tary of State to pur­sue a CPO to fa­cil­i­tate the delivery of the devel­op­ment.

“The council and its agents worked closely with busi­nesses to agree fi­nan­cial settlements.

“These busi­nesses were not sat­is­fied with the of­fers made and no agree­ment could be reached. The council there­fore took the de­ci­sion to take the mat­ter to tri­bunal and the tri­bunal has agreed with the council’s fi­nan­cial of­fer.”

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