Dear Mr Sparks and Ms Knight
Following our meeting last week to share our proposals for a new loading bay in the vicinity of your premises, I am writing to clarify some of the points raised and our position regarding communications going forward.
Our revised proposals will be subject to consultation as we advised following your advanced viewing of the plans. We propose to circulate this to local residents and businesses in due course.
You mentioned a water leak is a concern of yours and we appreciate the points that you raised, however, as we have advised previously, the pipes and any leaks from them, fall under Thames Water’s responsibility. It is therefore for them to investigate and repair any leaks or problems with their infrastructure. We continue to work with Thames Water in respect of the work we are undertaking but as for any other problems that you are aware of on Archway Road, you will need to refer these to Thames Water directly. Similarly your comments about the water being lost by the nearby school needs to be reported to them as they are responsible and we cannot intervene.
We were surprised and concerned by your offer to accept an amount between £50,000-£100,000 as ‘hush money’ to allow us to complete the work. We will not agree to any payment with the intention that this would lead to us carrying out our work without disruption. We were further concerned that you advised that once completed, you would ‘lift the paving stones up anyway’. I should remind you that any intentional damage to our infrastructure would be considered an act of vandalism and reported to the police.
We have no intention of making you an offer for your premises and operating it as a business ourselves. We certainly would not consider a payment of three times the current market value as you suggested. We are a public organisation and we must allocate our resources responsibly. We cannot justify the cost of purchasing a business simply to facilitate the introduction of a change to the road layout without disruption.
We were also concerned by your threat to obstruct the A1 for a period of three days in protest against our proposals and the revised layout. Your assertion that it would make you ‘millions’ in press coverage at the risk of a fine being imposed on you under the Highways Act 1980, is again a tactic that we do not condone or appreciate. Should you attempt to block the A1, the Police will of course be requested to attend and take action to ensure the highway is free of obstruction.
Your request that the works be carried out correctly; safely, securely, environmentally sound, with communication and with consultation, will be carried out. We have a commitment to deliver the proposed improvements in line with our policies and general construction best practice.
We feel that whilst we are happy to work with you and propose acceptable solutions to your concerns, you remain closed to any suggestion other than to leave the loading bay where it previously was, move the proposed crossing, leave the subway in situ etc. when we have already advised on several occasions that these options are not viable under the new scheme.
I understand from the project manager that you have recently threatened our contractors and that they have had to involve the Police. As I have advised previously, unauthorised entry to the site, aggressive or threatening behaviour towards our staff or contractors will not be tolerated and if such behaviour does occur, we will request the Police to attend.
As we have reached a ‘stalemate’ we do not intend to continue to respond to further emails or contacts from you on the scheme. Any further comments made will not be responded to but will be logged without action.
You have asked if there is an ombudsman and you are free to approach the Local Government Ombudsman if you wish. I have enclosed their contact details below should you wish to do so.
The Local Government Ombudsman
PO Box 4771
PO Box 4771
Tel: 0300 061 0614
Or you can email them via their website at:www.lgo.org.uk/contact-us
Gareth Long PMICS
Case Management Executive
TfL Customer Services
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