Owners of Jan’s Diner off A39 will be shutting up shop next week despite three-month battle with Devon County Council.
The owners of a diner off the A39 are preparing to say their final goodbyes next week, despite a three-month battle with Devon County Council (DCC) to try and stay.
The Gazette reported in May how Di and Rahim Jan had been told they must vacate the Rook’s Bridge picnic area by June 30 – leaving them facing the prospect of debt and unemployment.
Now DCC has confirmed it will be boarding up the toilet blocks and placing bollards (or similar) at the entrance to the much-used layby.
Despite starting an online petition, enlisting the help of MPs Peter Heaton-Jones and Geoffrey Cox, and rallying support on Facebook, the Jans have been unable to negotiate a longer stay.
Mr Jan said the diner would be closing on Tuesday: “We had hoped we could see out the summer period which is our busiest time but DCC would not negotiate with us.
“The support has been amazing and we would like to thank everyone.”
A DCC spokesman said picnic sites along the A361, also facing closure, would continue to be maintained ‘while negotiations with tenants are ongoing’.
He added: “We have served notice to end the tenancy at Rooksbridge and these facilities will close at the end of June.
“The facilities at Lydacott have been closed. The intention is to offer both sites at Rooksbridge and Lydacott to the open market in the near future.”
MP Peter Heaton-Jones said he was ‘very concerned’ to hear about the situation.
He said: “Sadly, the council has confirmed it is indeed ending Mr Jan’s lease on the diner. They say the decision is consistent with the terms of the contract.
“The council has decided to put the entire picnic area on the market and felt that this should be done without a tenant.”