Kebab owner takes away legal bill

PUBLISHED: 10:15 13 August 2009 | UPDATED: 17:03 25 August 2010

A KEBAB shop manager faces huge legal bills after a High Court victory against his council.

A KEBAB shop manager faces huge legal bills after a High Court victory against his council.

Bexley council took the government's communities department to court after its inspector granted planning permission to George Arslanboga, the manager of Kebab Ye, in Maidstone Road, Sidcup.

This was after council bosses refused to grant retrospective planning consent for the business' change of use from a retail shop, which was then overturned by an inspector, in November last year.

On July 30, deputy judge John Howell QC rejected Bexley council's case, ordering bosses to pay £6,410 towards the Secretary of State's legal costs on top of their own costs of £8,529.

But Mr Arslanboga said he was having a hard time celebrating his victory.

He said: "To be honest it really hasn't sunk in yet because the last three-and-a-half years have been a constant battle and it's very hard to just forget about it.

"The wife and family keep saying I can cheer up now but it's difficult to snap out of it.I've had a heavy weight on my shoulders and it will take some time to go away."

A spokesperson for the council said: "We are extremely disappointed with the High Court's decision.

"We have a responsibility to protect the interests of our residents and people in the area had raised concerns with us about the nuisance this take-away was causing.

"The council takes planning enforcement very seriously and this is why planning enforcement action was taken against Mr Arslanboga - for operating his business in breach of planning control.

"Mr Arslanboga ignored the planning enforcement and stop notices that were served upon him over a period of nearly three years. He continued trading despite receiving two convictions in Bexley Magistrates' Court for breaches of these notices. The council's decision to challenge the inspector's decision reflected, amongst other things, the broader policy implications."

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