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Beckton marina owner facing eviction vows to 'fight to the death'

PUBLISHED: 07:00 21 October 2016 | UPDATED: 12:54 16 November 2016

Eric Miller with his daughter Leigh-Jayne

Eric Miller with his daughter Leigh-Jayne

Archant

A long-standing family-run business faces legal action after being served an eviction notice by the Mayor of London's office.

Two people at work on their boat at the marinaTwo people at work on their boat at the marina

Gallions Point Marina owner Leigh-Jane Miller, and her father Eric, have been served with a court hearing after refusing to leave their premises following an eviction notice from Transport for London (TfL) on behalf of the Greater London Authority (GLA).

Ms Miller, whose father started their business on Albert Island in the Royal Albert Basin 25 years ago, has accused the GLA of “stealing” their small business away from them.

“They will have to take my lifeless body out of here,” said Ms Miller. “We will fight to the death.”

The eviction letter, dated September 14 and seen by the Recorder, states that Mr and Ms Miller have “seven days to remove your property from the Marina and serve up vacant possession”.

Following their refusal to comply with the demand, the pair have been summoned to appeared at Bow County Court on November 21. Ms Miller has elected to represent herself in court as she “cannot afford a solicitor”.

Ms Miller, who recently had a “health scare”, believes she is being unfairly “hounded out” despite contining to pay her rent and run her business.

“Without us there are no many places to go,” she said. “There is certainly not a repair yard anymore as they have built so many flats in the area.”

Royal Albert Island, a 24-acre plot of mainly industrial land but also a community church, has been deemed an “enterprise zone” by the Mayor of London’s office, under Sadiq Khan’s predecessor Boris Johnson.

However, the businesswoman, whose customers include the owners of a boat vessel used to save soldiers during Dunkirk, fears her livelihood is threatened by the GLA’s plans to redevelop the marina.

In May 2015, City Hall called for a response to Mr Johnson’s “vision of a development that would include industrial space plus a working boatyard and marina facility”.

A spokesperson for the Mayor of London said: “The redevelopment of Albert Island forms a key part of the regeneration of the Royal Docks, creating an international business district and supporting local jobs and growth.

“There is an ongoing court process regarding the tenancy of one temporary occupant.”

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