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Developers begin demolition work around mechanic Richard Hough's South Norwood garage despite Croydon Council telling them to stop

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DEVELOPERS are demolishing the buildings around a working South Norwood garage despite Croydon Council telling them to stop. Mechanic Richard Hough said contractors working for developers Greathall had turned up at his Autoclutch car repair garage this morning and started taking sledgehammers and jackhammers to the buildings around which his business lies. Mr Hough has been engaged in a 12-year battle with Greathall to stay at the premises but was told in court last month he must vacate the site by the end of August – a decision he is taking to the Court of Appeal. Greathall's planning permission to build on the site – which it says it intends to build flats on – runs out this Sunday. Mr Hough said Greathall were in breach of planning rules and regulations. A video posted on Facebook by a friend of Mr Hough shows men from Access Building Contractors taking sledgehammers to the garage. Access' owner Xhevat Lita is also on site to watch the work take place. Mr Hough said enforcement officers and members of Croydon Council's building control department had been down to the Station Road buildings to tell Access to stop, although the contractors have continued and "almost taken the front of the building down". He said their actions were a "disgrace". Greathall has been trying to make Mr Hough leave the site since 2002 so it can build flats on the land opposite Norwood Junction. A council spokesman said: "Council planning officers are monitoring activity on the site and are in regular conversations with the developer. "At present the work is being done without full planning consent, however we have had assurances the outstanding conditions on the application will be dealt with very soon. "We are keen to see the matter resolved without the need for taking legal enforcement action, but this is a complicated case involving protection of the character of a valuable conservation area and we are considering our options." Mr Hough has worked at the garage for more than 40 years and run it since 1990.

Developers begin demolition work around mechanic Richard Hough's South Norwood garage despite Croydon Council telling them to stop


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