A used car showroom in Gidea Park was ordered to stop using its site by Havering Council after it was found to be operating without planning permission.

Dulux Cars, at 284 Brentwood Road, was sent a planning enforcement notice this month which stated that the premises was being used for retail vehicle sales and for storage of cars without the authority's approval.

The notice said that the use of the site as a car showroom impacted the parking facilities in surrounding roads and led to congestion.

It also resulted in noise and disturbance, the notice added, and has given rise to material harm to the amenity of nearby residents.

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It further said that the business has been detrimental to the area because of increased competition for limited on-street parking bays.

A planning application sent by Bill Bacheta, the owner of the site, for change of use from a retail unit to a vehicle broker facility was rejected by the council on March 11.

The enforcement notice repeated that planning permission should not be granted for change of use.

The council ordered Dulux Cars to stop using the premises for car sales and storage, remove all cars that are part of its business, and take out all rubbish, debris or any other waste materials.

The notice is due to come into effect on May 10.

Dulux Cars referred the Recorder to its landlord when contacted for comment.

Mr Bacheta said that an appeal is being filed against the council's planning rejection and his tenants are not operating illegally.

He added: "The site operates more like a space for people to come and collect cars. It is all done online otherwise. 

"It is a private land, and we have got an issue with the council saying it is impacting the traffic in the area. They probably just get one to two clients a day."

Mr Bacheta claimed more traffic is caused by a neighbouring pizza restaurant and that a traffic survey commissioned with his planning application said there is not a lot of traffic movement at the location.

He also claimed that Dulux Cars do not use the parking spaces outside and their clients park near the station. 

"Any business is going to have some level of footfall with people coming and going.

"I had a computer shop in its place for 15 years before that and for that too we had many customers coming, so I really don't understand why they (the council) have a problem with this business."