Stratford restaurant strikes back in Newham council dispute

Stratford restaurant Carribean Scene sent a clear message to Newham Council for obscuring the sign in front of his restaurant.

On Wednesday morning, owner Patrick Marche decided he had had enough of the trees planted outside so erected this banner in front of them in protest.

The dispute started after the trees appeared outside the restaurant in Gerry Raffles Square in April as part of Stratford regeneration plans and Mr Marche felt his business was being literally blocked out from benefiting from passing trade during the Olympics.

Newham Council said the trees were planted to combat “high winds being generated by a vortex caused by several of the buildings in Theatre Square” which compromised the safety of Mr Marche’s customers.

Mr Marche said: “We’ve had lots of people coming up to us in the restaurant saying it is absolutely disgusting.

“We even had Irish TV do an interview on it and they said that when they came over the hill they couldn’t see that there was a restaurant here at all.

“Sky news were here the other day, we’ve had The Voice down, the Jamaican Times.

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“There were lots of people taking pictures of the banner all day as well.”

In the early afternoon, council enforcement officers arrived and asked Mr Marche to remove the banner.

Mr Marche said: “It started off a bit heated but then I got my lawyer talking to them and it calmed down after that.

“I took it down later that afternoon because the council enforcement officers have got a job to do so you have got to respect that.”

A Newham Council spokesperson said: “Our priority is to create thriving communities where people want to live, stay and visit. Working with local businesses is central to making that goal a success.”