A CHIPPY owner facing a battle with council bosses who want to buy his business by compulsory purchase has called their offer “silly.”
Halil Kaya’s Master Fry is the last unit open at Riverside Precinct, which Rotherham Council wants to include in the Forge Island development.
Cabinet members will vote on Monday to invoke a compulsory purchase order to take over the long-standing chippy.
But Mr Kaya said: “I’m so angry. I’ve got a mortgage to pay, kids to go to university but the money they offered me is so silly.
“About four or five months ago, we had an off-the-record meeting. Their first question was how soon can I hand in the keys.
“I said in a week’s time if you pay the money I want. But the money is silly, silly money, much too low.”
The unit’s lease still has ten years left, said Mr Kaya, who took it on in 2014.
He added: “I know other businesses have been relocated from here. I’m the last one left now and it’s frustrating.
“The council waited all this time and then said let’s go to solicitors. I had an email from their solicitors advising me to get a solicitor six weeks ago and we’ll go from there.
“I went on holiday, came back three weeks ago and still haven’t heard anything more. “Customers keep asking me what is happening and I’ve got two staff to think about.”
No figures have been made public but there is believed to be a significant difference between valuations of the unit.
Running down of Riverside Precinct began more than five years ago as the council wants a new link to Forge Island’s cinema and leisure area.
A report to cabinet members said: “The council has acquired all of the legal interests in Riverside Precinct, except one leasehold interest.
“To date, negotiations with the tenant have proved to be unsuccessful and therefore it is necessary for the council to invoke its Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) powers.
“A fundamental issue for the success of any CPO scheme is that there has to be an absolute compelling case, in the public interest, to deprive the tenant of their private property rights and interest.”
RMBC claims this has been shown by having development partner Muse in place, although no planning applications have been filed.