The owner of a Mexican street kitchen business has been told he can keep his pitch in Lynn’s town centre, though he fears it may only be a temporary reprieve.
It emerged earlier this week that Chris Leech, who runs Serranos in the Vancouver Quarter, had been told he had to close his trailer, just weeks after opening.
But, after his story was reported in the Lynn News and following a Facebook campaign by angry supporters, Mr Leech has today, Friday, November 14, confirmed his business will continue in its current position.
He said he was told last night that the notice for him to vacate the site had been revoked, though he added; “I’m safe for the time being.
Without the U-turn, Mr Leech would have opened his trailer for the final time tomorrow.
And he thanked everyone who had supported him and who he believes have helped to keep his business trading.
He said: “KL.FM have been incredible. The Lynn News have been fantastic. All my customers have been absolutely incredible. They have just supported us so much.
Mr Leech has invested £25,000 and spent several months planning the business, which began trading near Beales last month.
But he says he still doesn’t fully know why he was threatened with eviction in the first place.
Although he agreed a 12 month contract containing a clause stating he could be asked to leave with a week’s notice with Space 2 Trade, the company that rents out space on the Vancouver Quarter’s behalf, Mr Leech said he had been told the firm did not have the authority to agree a deal for food premises in the centre.
He also claimed he was assured that he had not breached the terms of the agreement.
Paul Clifford, managing director of Space 2 Trade, said he had received an email from the Vancouver Quarter on Thursday afternoon, informing him that the centre’s owners were willing to allow Mr Leech to stay.
He said the email stated they had reconsidered their position due to the level of investment Mr Leech has made and were allowing him to stay for the time being.
He earlier stated that the firm had been instructed to ask Mr Leech to vacate the premises.
A Vancouver Quarter spokesman said: “Space 2 Trade failed to obtain the permissions from the Vancouver Quarter agents for Serranos.
“However, due to the investment, made by Serranos retrospective consent was granted by the Vancouver Quarter to Space 2 Trade yesterday (Thursday) lunchtime.
“Traders leasing mall space from Space 2 Trade in the Vancouver Quarter should ensure that the shopping centre owners have granted consent for their proposed use.”