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A going concern? Of course it was.

Cheshire East Council - Shenanigans



The cafe was open until April/May 2015; when the freeholders were asked to give vacant possession.

For example at the end of February 2015 they ordered 12 kilos of coffee beans, usually they can last  2/3 months; please refer to various receipts. This was the largest herbal tea shop in the North West, but they were not given a chance to even breathe let alone operate with freedom.

After June/July council has been sending various officials to harass  in many ways, including taking down cladding from the building, which, I was told from the national planning helpline, was completely legal because it was on a private land.

Some officers seemed to be dedicated to this building alone; who says the councils are short of money if they can pay  around 15 visits in a single month -  they can’t be short of money.  



The above email from Amanda Timpany reads:


From: TIMPANY, Amanda [mailto:Amanda.Timpany@cheshireeast.gov.uk]
Sent: 29 April 2015 16:54
To: Ian Gordon Subject: RE: 10-16 Great King Street East Macclesfield

Thank you for your email. Please confirm the proposed completion date (with vacant possession) in this matter. Please also confirm that the tenants have agreed to vacate the property and the proposed date. Thanks
Amanda Timpany Solicitor Legal Services -
Places Team Cheshire East Council Westfields Middlewich Road Sandbach CW11 1HZ
Tel: 01270 685826 Fax: 01270 685663
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


The email above from Amanda Timpany reads:

From: TIMPANY, Amanda [mailto:Amanda.Timpany@cheshireeast.gov.uk]
ent: 12 May 2015 11:54
To: Ian Gordon Subject: RE: 10-16 Great King Street East Macclesfield

Thanks for your email. I have taken the instructions of my client department and they agree in principal to a fixed completion date of 15 June or earlier if possible.

Please send me a copy of the agreement for the advertising sign at the property

Thanks
Amanda Timpany Solicitor Legal Services - Places Team Cheshire East Council Westfields Middlewich Road Sandbach CW11 1HZ
Tel: 01270 685826


Text of the above email:

Thursday, 4 June, 2015 15:29

Dear Basi,

I have just had an unpleasant conversation with the council’s solicitor.  The council’s surveyor will not sign off on the sale price, particularly stating that the £22,000 occupier compensation is not authorised because the property has been vacant for some time.
Am I right in thinking that the only reason you and the tenant have already vacated is because of the council’s plans to buy the property?

Please can you confirm when you vacated?

Kind regards,
Andrew Stone
Senior Associate For and on behalf of JMW Solicitors LLP T: 0161 838 2821
------------------------------

The text in the above email reads:

Thursday, 4 June, 2015 12:56

Dear Andrew.  

Thank you for the update.  Ironically there are published news from the council claiming that they already bought every single property in the car park,  including ours.  

Anyway we await when they really deliver.

Kind regard

Basi
------------------------

RE: 10-16 Great King Street East Macclesfield Thursday, 4 June, 2015 16:07
"Andrew Stone" <andrew.stone@jmw.co.uk>
"TIMPANY Amanda" <Amanda.Timpany@cheshireeast.gov.uk>

Dear Amanda,

The council’s surveyor’s suggestion that the property has been vacant for some time is incorrect.  The only reason the two shops have closed is because heads of terms were agreed with the council for the purchase of the freehold and surrender of the lease.  Were it not for that agreement both shops would still be open and trading.

Heads of terms for the sale and surrender were agreed with your agents, Julie Dunthorne of Cushman Wakefield, at the beginning of April.  I have an email from Julie to my clients’ agent James Ogborn dated 1 April attaching those heads of terms.  In those heads of terms it stated that the exchange of contracts would be within 30 days of agreement of the heads of terms.

The coffee shop, which was run by the freeholder and her husband, was open until 15 April.  It only closed at that point because the freeholder had agreed to sell the property with vacant possession and they needed time to sell the equipment.  They have only just been able to sell the final equipment.

The tenant has still not vacated.  He only started removing his stock yesterday and will have completely vacated by 15 June, which is the agreed completion date.

Needless to say that my clients are absolutely furious with the council’s position and reject it.  They require that the sale and surrender proceeds as per the agreed heads of terms.

Regards,
Andrew Stone
Senior Associate For and on behalf of JMW Solicitors LL
-------------


RE: 10-16 Great King Street East Macclesfield Thursday, 4 June, 2015 14:57


From Amanda Timpany
To Andrew Stone

I confirm our telephone conversation today.

As you know, the consideration in this matter was :
Freehold + business disturbance     £303,000
ccupier compensation                      £ 22,000
Settlement offer                            £ 50,000
Total                                               £375,000

The Surveyor acting for the Council is unable to sign off this matter. The Council requires the matter to be authorised because public funds are being used for the purchase of the property.

The surveyor considers that the price of the property £375,000 is too high.

In particular, the property appears to have been vacant for a long time And therefore the surveyor cannot authorise the payment of occupier compensation £50,000 And settlement offer £22,000.

Please confirm when the tenants vacated the property so that I can inform the surveyor for the Council.

Regards


Amanda Timpany
Solicitor Legal Services
Commercial Projects and Property Team
Cheshire East Council
Westfields
Middlewich Road
Sandbach
CW11 1HZ
Tel: 01270 685826





Wednesday, 20 May, 2015 13:3

Dear Basi and Ameer,

Ian Gordon is out of the office for a few days and has asked me to look after this matter in his absence.

We received a draft contract from the council on Monday, which I have reviewed.  I need your instructions on a few points please then I can return it to the council’s solicitor. 1. The contract states that no deposit is payable.  Normally a 10% deposit is payable.  This is not a concern if we exchange and complete simultaneously, but if there is a delay between exchange and comple_on I recommend that we require a 10% deposit.  Do you both agree? 2. Please would you send me the original lease and ancillary documents, e.g. rent review memorandum?  The council will want us to hand it over following comple_on. 3. Basi – has Elisabet opted the property to VAT?  This will affect the contract dra-ing.

I also need to prepare the deed of surrender for Ameer and Hamid’s lease.  Please would you confirm the following points: 1. What is the rent?  Is it £20,000 per year? 2. Is there a service charge?  If so, how much and when is it paid? 3. Does the landlord (Elisabet) charge the tenant VAT on the rent? 4. Is there any money owing to the landlord, e.g. arrears of rent?

I note that you will be dealing with the surrender of the sublease and the outdoor wall advertising agreement yourselves.  Ian has already advised on the risk of the subtenant not signing up to the agreement and therefore you potentially not being able to give the council vacant possession.  I recommend that you get the surrender documents prepared and signed, but hold them undated until we exchange contracts on the sale.  That way you can date them once the council is contractually bound to purchase the property.  All you would need to do is speak to the subtenant to agree the completion dates with them.

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact me; my email address is andrew.stone@jmw.co.uk and my direct dial is below.  Otherwise I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards,
Andrew Stone Senior Associate For and on behalf of JMW Solicitors LLP

 
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