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Cycling cafe owner wins battle against council

Law firm Leigh Day have announced that Windsor and Maidenhead Council have withdrawn their application for an injunction against a cycling café owner who could have faced legal action if cyclists met at his café.

Velolife Cafe

14 November 2019

The Velolife café and workshop in Warren Row Berkshire, run by Lee Goodwin, was made the subject of an Enforcement Notice by the council in October 2017, following a complaint from a neighbour.

In July this year the Council applied for an injunction against Mr Goodwin alleging breaches of the Enforcement Notice. However, following Mr Goodwin instructing lawyers, Leigh Day, which was supported by British Cycling and Cycling UK, the council agreed to the dismissal of its claim for an injunction against Mr Goodwin.

Jamie Beagent, the lawyer for Mr Goodwin from the law firm Leigh Day:

"This is a significant victory for our client and finally brings to an end this unfortunate episode.”

Background

Windsor and Maidenhead Council issued the Enforcement Notice against the Velolife café alleging a breach of planning control in the running of the business. The Notice sought to stop the café operating as café, a bicycle workshop, retail outlet and a meeting place.

Mr Goodwin appealed the Enforcement Notice and in October 2018 a Planning Inspector, appointed by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, partially upheld his appeal, finding that it was lawful for the café to operate as a cycling café with ancillary workshop provision.

The ‘meeting place’ was deleted from the Enforcement Notice by the Planning Inspector but amended to prohibit the Café as a ‘Cyclists’ meet’. The Inspector held that the Enforcement Notice was “intended to target the use of the land as a place where cyclists meet prior to departing on organised rides and events”.

The Inspector’s decision was published in October 2018 and shortly afterwards Mr Goodwin ceased running organised rides from the café and the retail operation at the café.

However, the Council had continued to pursue the matter because a neighbour was unhappy with the fact that large numbers of cyclists were still using the café and threatened to bring criminal proceedings against Mr Goodwin for breach of the Enforcement Notice.

In July 2019, the council issued an application for an injunction to prevent groups of cyclists ‘congregating’ at the café. The injunction was also sought against cyclists using the café in groups (‘persons unknown’) and was sent to local cycle clubs.

In October 2019 Leigh Day wrote to the Council challenging the application of the injunction on behalf of Lee Goodwin. The signed order, agreeing to withdraw the application which has been signed by both parties, has been filed with the Court today, 14 November 2019.

Information was correct at time of publishing. See terms and conditions for further details.

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