West Ham minicab business set to close over planning dispute

Cab office West Ham Cars Ltd is threatened with closure because Newham Council says it has been operating for over a year without planning permission.

The news has hit owner George Hassan Qayan hard as he claims he employs around 30 people from drivers to front of house staff.

George, who lives with his wife and children in East Ham, said: “I worked very hard for that office and I have been running my business for about one year and five months.

“We are the only cab office within two miles of the station and when the trains stop late at night, where are people going to go?

“They said the front of my shop looks messy but I am willing to redecorate it. They also said that I don’t contribute anything to the local community but I get on well with all the other businesses in the area.

“I should have applied for planning straight away and I have applied since, I’ve appealed but they are not interested.”

A council spokesperson said: “We take breaches of planning regulations seriously. The council refused a planning application for a minicab business at 1c Durban Road in November 2010.

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“The applicant appealed the decision and this was dismissed by the Planning Inspectorate last April.

“The business has continued to operate without planning permission and we have received several complaints from residents regarding noise and traffic.

“We are preparing an enforcement notice against the owner seeking the unauthorised use to cease.”