Travellers could force a Croydon car garage owner to move his business
A luxury car garage owner has warned antisocial behaviour from travellers parked outside his business could force him to move elsewhere.
More than 15 caravans camped outside the Swift Centre in Imperial Way, Purley, for more than a week, after arriving a fortnight ago.
Jim Quirke, 48, of Coulsdon, owner of Millenium Jag, an independent Jaguar specialist, found one traveller washing in his kitchen, while another tried to run into the bathroom while he was on the phone.
He said the proximity of the travellers to his business was putting off customers, costing him up to £8000 a week.
The travellers moved a few hundred yards up the road to LA Fitness car park on Sunday night after being told to leave by Croydon Council.
They are now on private land so the council cannot move them on.
Mr Quirke, who has run the garage for 17 years, said it was not the first time they have come to Imperial Way and they were damaging his business.
He said he had to clean up faeces off the pavement and remove rubbish which had been thrown over the wall. He said: "We have had them coming in to try and use our facilities and they just cause a load of mess.
"It is costing us an absolute fortune. Customers don’t come in as they feel intimidated. It was the same the last time they were here.
He said: "We have had no assistance from the police or council. They have been absolutely useless. They weren’t issued a notice until Thursday, which is almost a week after they arrived.
"It is a never ending problem here. It has got to the stage where I haven’t got much choice other than to leave. We can’t continue to lose £5,000 to £8,000 per week, we just can’t do it."
Lianne Matthews, depot manager at Howdens Joinery, said: "When they came last time they pitched up and they were running around the depot. This time they haven’t been as disruptive to us, but I can see the problems.
"It is unnerving and intimidating, they play loud music all day."
A council spokesman said: "The council served a notice for people who had illegally camped on Imperial Way to leave by midday on Monday.
"We understand they moved on Sunday night."