Search

Million pound home owners push out Barnsbury family business for bigger gardens

11:26 30 January 2014

Brian Southwood (right) with co-worker Ronnie

Brian Southwood (right) with co-worker Ronnie

Archant

A family car repair shop in Barnsbury is set to be knocked down so that residents in million pound homes can extend their gardens.

Great grandfather Brian Southwood, 75, has worked in Brooksby Mews since he was 14 and his brother Alfie owned all the workshops in the cobbled ally.

Islington Council was planning to put the land up for auction in May 2011, but backed out when it faced opposition from residents in Brooksby Street and Bewdley Street, whose homes back on to the mews.

Loyal customers

Now the town hall has exchanged contracts with a company formed by residents, transferring the land to them.

Mr Southwood, who lives in Gospel Oak, said: “The council was asking for £300,000 six months ago, so I went down and offered it but they wouldn’t give me a straight answer.

“If it’s being sold we should get first option as leaseholders. We’ve got lots of loyal customers and have built a reputation over the years – some of them have been coming to us for more than 30 years.

“We’ve had three years not knowing what was going on and now this company pops up.”

Brooksby Mews Management Company Ltd was founded in October and lists among its directors eight living in houses that back on to the mews and one who is said to live in the Cayman Islands.

The council agreed the transfer of the land last week.

The council had planned to turn the land in to affordable housing but planning restrictions made this unfeasible.

The money from the sale will be used for new council housing, school buildings, and energy saving investments.

A town hall spokesman said: “Last week the council exchanged contracts with a local residents’ group whose properties back on to these lock-up garages for the purpose of extending their gardens.

“We have been in touch with Mr Southwood since early 2013 during which time he was given an equal chance to purchase these garages.

“We advised him that extending the workshop/repairs business in this location was unlikely to be possible under our planning policy and we identified alternative sites nearby.”

0 comments

Latest Islington News Stories

Yesterday, 17:41

A Barnsbury woman who made bullets in munitions factories during the war celebrated her 100th birthday on Sunday.

Yesterday, 14:29

Trailblazing students from Islington descended on the Emirates Stadium to get grips with the latest in computer science.

Yesterday, 14:16

Roman Way Industrial Estate is one place where ‘dry January’ is not welcome – it’s home to Islington’s only brewery. Hammerton has only been going for three years, but the Gazette finds it already has international reach.

Yesterday, 09:48

Islington Council has made yet another data gaffe – by leaking personal information of 559 ex-employees to its own former leader.

Hackney’s top police chief has praised his officers for their bravery after they had a gun pointed at them last night in Manor House.

Tue, 15:30

Homeless people who had set up bedrooms under the Finsbury Park bridge in Stroud Green Road have been moved on by Islington Council.

Tue, 14:12

A very different kind of matchday programme is doing the rounds at Emirates Stadium games this season. The Arsenal History Programme focuses on forgotten facts, and the Gazette speaks to its mastermind, Paul Matz.

Tue, 10:19

Every week, we take to the streets to find a start-up business right here in Islington. This week, we found a takeaway focusing on “clean eating”.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now