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Norwood Junction mechanic warns potential buyers to be ready for a battle

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THE site opposite Norwood Junction railway station has gone up for auction, but a mechanic based there has warned potential buyers: "Prepare for a battle."

Land at the rear of 29-33 Station Road and Railway Buildings, in South Norwood, is valued at £680,000 plus. In May, the Advertiser revealed it had been put up for sale at £850,000.

Now it is being auctioned at an event to be held on December 12 in north-west London.

But Richard Hough, who runs car repair garage Autoclutch on the site, insists he will not walk away.

Planning permission was granted to build flats at the site last year, which would see Mr Hough's business demolished.

This follows a planning battle which had raged since November 2002. Describing the moment he found out about the auction, Mr Hough said: "On Friday afternoon a chap pulled up in his car and started to walk in.

"I said 'what are you doing' and he said he'd come to look at the auction site.

"If anyone buys the land it's going straight into a legal battle because I won't just walk away.

"To any potential purchaser, make sure you've read all the details on the lease and planning permission because this isn't as clear cut as you think."

The proposals had continually been turned down by officials and were rejected three times following appeals to the Planning Inspectorate.

But developer Greathall Limited was granted permission at a fourth planning inquiry, which ended on June 10 last year.

The permission includes building two retail units and 11 flats.

Mr Hough says he still retains the community's support in his bid to stay on the site.

He explained: "I've had about 50 text messages on my phone and people talking about doing a rally at the site's auction.

"Every day I must have ten people asking what the state of play is.

"This has been going on for such a long time.

"I haven't fought for ten years to walk away now."

Norwood Junction mechanic warns potential buyers to be ready for a battle


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