Millionaire boss slams Norwich council for banning his vans
PUBLISHED: 16:01 15 July 2019 | UPDATED: 09:07 16 July 2019
A multi-millionaire businessman is appealing to Norwich City Council to reconsider its vehicle ban at the former Pedro's site pleading: "I can't run my new restaurant."
Andre Serruys is attempting to renovate the building in Chapelfield Gardens and turn it into a high-end burger bar after closing Pedro's in April.
But after he was warned over parking vehicles outside the restaurant contrary to his licence agreement, the council has taken away all his rights to vehicle access.
Over the weekend, Mr Serruys got his team to carry large pieces of furniture into the building after a delivery van had to park outside Chapelfield. But some of the items for the new-look 'Harry's' restaurant and bar had to be returned as they were too bulky.
"I'm writing to the council to ask if we can meet and discuss its ban," Mr Serruys said. "We can't run the restaurant without vehicle access, we need to get a van here on a daily basis to deliver supplies and for the general day-to-day operation. But the council just doesn't seem to be able to be rational and is making it extremely difficult."
He's also annoyed at being charged more than £1,000 for administration costs involved in the ban. An itemised bill, charged by NPLaw the legal firm which acts on behalf of the council, includes more than 19 hours of emails alone.
He said: "These are fees charged on behalf of its client, Norwich City Council, for the licence to alter document and for which we are responsible. I had asked for a breakdown as I thought the charges were excessive - 19.6 hours spent emailing? Is that really possible?"
The row broke out over Mr Serruys allegedly parking four vehicles outside the restaurant contrary to his licence agreement.
A council spokeswoman reiterated it had "not taken the decision lightly" saying "we always do the very best we can to support the needs of all city businesses while also balancing them with the needs of others including visitors and residents".
Mr Serruys' daughter Annie, 20, is going to take over the running of the new restaurant which will offer high end burgers as well as ice creams and smoothies and have a separate bar.
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