Costcutter retailer Paul Smith has hit back at United Co-operatives in a bitter row over the future of his store in Pickering, North Yorkshire (C-Store, August 11, p5).
The society, which owns the property, plans to develop the site for its own store and has told Paul to leave by January 2, 2007. Paul has criticised United Co-op and the £9,000 compensation he is set to receive.
Paul said: "United Co-op made me an offer of £200,000 three years ago. However, it was conditional on receiving planning permission for an extension which I had previously been denied."
United Co-op argues that Paul turned down an offer of £250,000 for the business. A spokeswoman added: "The offer made clear the society's intention to take over the premises in 2006 at the end of the lease period. The retailer has known of our intentions for some time and we are trying to be as fair as possible."
It says it is willing to reach a compromise on a suitable date for Paul to leave the shop.
Paul refutes United Co-op's claim that it told him it would not be renewing his lease. Paul intends to take the case to court if needs be and has a petition signed by more than 2,000 people.

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