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Marina owner in Beckton stages sit-in to prevent eviction to make way for development

PUBLISHED: 15:11 09 October 2018

The gates to the marina site, in Albert Island, where officers were trying to carry out an eviction. Picture: Rhiannon Long

The gates to the marina site, in Albert Island, where officers were trying to carry out an eviction. Picture: Rhiannon Long

Archant

The owner of a marina in the Royal Docks is staging a sit-in to avoid being evicted today.

Leigh-Jane Miller outside Bow County Court for the hearing in January. Picture: Kat HoppsLeigh-Jane Miller outside Bow County Court for the hearing in January. Picture: Kat Hopps

Leigh-Jane Miller, 46, owner of Gallions Point Marina Ltd, went to court in January over lease of the Albert Island site, which has been designated an “enterprise zone” by former mayor, Boris Johnson.

In separate rulings, the court ruled in favour of landowners, the Greater London Authority (GLA), and the Royal Docks Management Authority, who want to take back the site and evict the current tenants, Leigh and her father, Eric.

But today, when officers went to carry out the eviction, Leigh and two of her employees refused to leave the building.

“The first people came at around 10am,” she said.

“I called the police, and said I’m not going to leave.

“I have two employees in here and it’s disrupting business. We can’t get any work done.”

The Recorder weren’t allowed access to the site, as they were told it had been taken under GLA control.

Leigh said: “We’re staying put, we have to take a stand for ordinary working class Londoners.

“When we set it up, it was abandoned wasteland, no one would have wanted it.

“Now they want to take it off smaller businesses and give it to a private provider.”

Leigh and her father have been the leaseholders for 25 years, but the GLA have now secured a contract with a development partner for the site, which is expected to bring investment and jobs to the area.

A spokesman for the Mayor of London said: “The redevelopment of Albert Island is an important part of the wider regeneration of the Royal Docks, creating a significant new business district for London and boosting jobs and economic growth.

“Following a competitive procurement process, the Greater London Authority has appointed a development partner for the site to deliver much-needed investment.

“We have now reached the end of the legal process regarding the operator of Gallions Point Marina, to whom we have offered favourable terms throughout. The court ruling will enable us to proceed with the secure handover of the site and to move ahead.”

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