Dispute over pool cafe lock out
PUBLISHED: 15:00 29 March 2011 | UPDATED: 15:55 29 March 2011
THE owners of a café attached to Portishead Open Air Pool are threatening to sue the pool trust after being forced out of their premises.
Members of Portishead Pool Community Trust gained peaceable re-entry to The Lockhouse Lounge and changed the locks on Monday after the cafe owners refused to leave the premises when given notice to quit on Friday.
The two parties have been in a long-running dispute over electricity costs and the lease for the restaurant building, which shares an electricity supply with the pool.
Trustees say the failure to settle the dispute led them to terminate the The Lockhouse Lounge lease.
They say the tenant has only made one nominal payment to cover their electricity costs, now in the region of £7,000 and they are also behind on rent. However, the restaurant owners dispute this.
Portishead Pool Community Trust is the leasehold owner of the pool premises and, since opening in 2009, The Lockhouse Lounge has been using part of it under a lease that was meant to be temporary.
A more permanent lease was never drawn up after discussions broke down.
On Friday, The Lockhouse Lounge owners said they hoped the dispute could be resolved between themselves, the trustees and North Somerset Council, before they embarked on a legal challenge. However, a North Somerset Council spokesman said the council will not be getting involved.
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