Motorbike park boss in council rents row

Eddie Todd, of Eddies Park and Sports Centre, has a spin on a quad bike.
Eddie Todd, of Eddies Park and Sports Centre, has a spin on a quad bike.

A BUSINESSMAN has threatened to go on rent strike in a row with Doncaster Council over an off-road motorcycle facility.

Eddie Todd took over the lease of the Doncaster Motorcycle Park earlier this year, after the local authority decided to stop running the site.

But he has fallen out with the council after it refused to allow him to put up what he regards as a comfortable mobile home on the site to allow him to stay on the site at night to keep it secure.

Councillors rejected a planning application for a mobile home, as well as six more mobile buildings on the site at Bentley Moor Lane.

Mr Todd now claims the council is in breach of the terms of his lease, which states he has a right to put a ‘removable accommodation unit’ on the site for the tenant or a security worker.

The council insists that the right is subject to planning permission.

Mr Todd told councillors the site had a history of problems including burglary and arson in the past: “I’ve been living in a steel container on the site. I want somewhere that I can relax when I finish work there at 10pm. I have a house a mile away but I need to live on site.

“I’ve cleaned the site up but I won’t develop it any further unless I’m comfortably living on site.”

He said he did not think it would be fair to expect him to live in a small caravan.

An official report said the site was part of the green belt and the planned mobile home was not considered appropriate.

It stated a touring caravan would be more suitable than the ‘chalet type’ mobile home proposed.

Mr Todd said after the meeting: “It is ridiculous. I’m not going to pay the rent for the next 10 years, because I think they’re going against the lease.”

Joan Beck, director of adults and communities at Doncaster Council, said: “The terms of the lease clearly state that the permitted use of the site is ‘subject to the tenant obtaining planning permission and any other necessary consents or approvals’.

“Throughout the process of drawing up the lease and the tenant applying for planning permission the council has given very clear advice about what is likely to be approved or rejected on the site.

“We have offered alternative options for security, including a mobile touring caravan.”

n The motorbike park was set up originally by the council to provide somewhere for youngsters to legally ride off road motorcycles, rather than in residential areas.